“Can you show me how to calm myself down?” Observing adults can help toddlers regulate their emotions

Humans are in a constant need to regulate how they feel to successfully navigate the challenges of everyday life. Emotion regulation, from managing feelings in a long line at the grocery store to those needed for work and in relationships is a key to successful adulthood. Emotion regulation is particularly challenging for toddlers, who experience frequent emotional outbursts. To date, there is limited research about how toddlers learn to apply specific emotion regulation strategies and how this differs between children. A new study published in Child Development by researchers at Ruhr University Bochum in Germany investigates the relationship between toddlers’ temperament, their use of distraction as a strategy for regulating their emotions and learning through observing adults’ behaviors.
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