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Creating a Family is the national adoption & foster care education and support nonprofit. Their mission is to strengthen foster, adoptive, and kinship families and the professionals who support them by creating expert-based, trauma-informed resources, community support, and training. Their vision is that every adopted and foster child has a family who understands their unique strengths and challenges and is equipped to help them thrive.

In the most recent episode of the Creating A Family podcast Dr. Stuart Shanker addresses Helping Our Kids Regulate Big Emotions.

The Creating a Family Podcast Covers:

  • 3 basic principles to self-regulation:
    • There is no such thing as a bad or lazy kid.
      • No matter how difficult, out of control, distracted, or exhausted a child might seem, there’s a way forward: self-regulation.
    • All people can learn to self-regulate in ways that promote rather than constrict growth.
    • There is no such thing as a “fixed outcome”: trajectories can always be changed, at any point in the lifespan, if only we have the right knowledge and tools.
  • How can parent help their children become more calm when we live in a stressful, frantic and over-stimulating world?
  • How can parents calm themselves down in the hectic world?
  • Five-step method for managing stress
    1. Reframe behavior by learning the difference between misbehavior and stress behavior and the signs of each. (Why and why now?)
    2. Recognize stressors.
      • What are some typical stressors broken out by age.
      • What are some “hidden stressors” that their children are struggling with: physiological as well as social and emotional.
    3. Reduce stress (deep breathing (pizza breath), exercise, touch, music, pets)
    4. Reflect on what it feels like to be calm and what it feels like to be overstressed. 
    5. Restoration- energy, balance, and relationship.
  • These steps are not a program for managing a child’s behavior. Rather, these are five steps to promote understanding a child’s behavior.

Listen to the podcast here.