Early childhood theories support a direct correlation between school success predictors and a child’s ability to demonstrate cognitive control, otherwise known as self-regulation.
Self-regulation is widely accepted as a critical social and emotional skill underpinning children’s ability to act pro-socially. “The ability to self-regulate enables children to adapt to and gain the most from their environment; thus much attention is given to the developmental process and experiences that help children develop self-regulation skills.” (Vallotton & Ayoub, 2010, p. 169)
In order for children to acquire positive behaviors, they must learn to connect experiences with present action and strengthen their ability to self-regulate through language and emotional development. Teachers and early childhood professionals can support executive function by incorporating teaching techniques that nurture self-regulation skills, providing children with the ability to regulate emotions and behaviors, and manage feelings through language. Another association to academic achievement can be supported by the child’s social and emotional development.
Here are some examples of children developing self-regulation and what it may look like with your child:
Vallotton, C., & Ayoub, C. (2010). Use your words: The role of language in the development of toddlers’ self-regulation. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 26, 169-181. doi: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2010.09.002