Self-regulation development: strategies for working with children and parents



Kate Williams
Dr Kate Williams is a lecturer and researcher in the School of Early Childhood at the Queensland University of Technology and is also a Registered Music Therapist.


Learning to control their own behaviour, emotions and thoughts in beneficial ways is a key development process for young children. Educators (and parents) can play an important role in helping children to develop better self-regulation skills.

Self-regulation refers to the ways in which children regulate or control their own behaviour, emotions and thoughts in ways that are beneficial to their overall development. Learning to self-regulate is a key task during early childhood. Better self-regulation skills have been associated with a range of more positive outcomes across a lifetime, and are particularly important in the transition to school. Educators and parents (individually and in cooperation) can help children to improve their self-regulation skills.