In many ways I can describe self regulation as an abilty that we develop during our early childhood. This begins at the infant stage where it is more of a reaction with responses and eventually evolves with cognitive development as the young child is proactive and aware of boundaries and self control.
This is why I consider it so important that adults and teachers in a preschoolers life offer positive role modelling for the child's support and guidance. Based on this support children better comprehend and gain control over their emotions and cognitive functions.
During early childhood and the cognitive development that occurs at that stage, children adapt to and gain control over different behaviour patterns. How they perceive and react to these behaviour patterns is also dependent on their environment and positive guidance by the adults and teachers around them. As an early childhood teacher, I consider self regulation to be an extremely important aspect of the early years and based on the freedom and indepence of letting a child make their own choices, feel that an indepence towards self control and self management will surely follow.
It is also important to consider the age of a child and the development at that stage. For example, during a mat time in the afternoon I have a discussion with the four year old children around why it is important to listen and wait for their turn when they want to say something, as that is an expectation by a new entrant teacher in primary school. If three year old children don't have the listening skills, I'd offer some proximal praise that may guide them in their development in the long run.
An early childhood education environment provides an ideal setting for children to develop social skills and attributes of self regulation like self control and indepence. This is where they make connecting links to the wider world around them and learn the social skills that are so important in their development.
It is essential to therefore motivate and support a child in an early childhood environment to influence self regulation. This can be through setting up the environment to promote social interaction and group play or through supporting a child emotionally when the situation arises. These are spontaneous moments during a teachers day and basically we should look at the holistic development of the children we support and be alongside during the day.In essence, it is important that children learn to control their emotions and express themselves through their behaviour in a positive light.