Parents often ask us how they can help their children develop self-regulation. It’s our belief that parents should not duplicate what is being taught at school – and this is just as true for teaching self-regulation as for teaching literacy or math. What today’s children need least of all are more flashcards and “educational” computer games. At the same time, parents (and siblings) can create unique contexts in which young children can practice self-regulation outside of the classroom.
In this section are some suggestions for how parents can support the development of self-regulation at home in a variety of ways, including fostering mature make-believe play, which we go into in some detail. We also invite you to read how Drs. Deborah Leong and Adele Diamond responded to questions from parents and teachers following a story on National Public Radio (NPR) about Tools of the Mind.
If you have infants and toddlers who are too young for the Tools of the Mind program, it does not mean that they are too young to start developing the foundations of self-regulation. An article from Young Children , the professional journal of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), provides a nice overview of how self-regulation develops in the first years of life and what parents can do to support this development.