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“You know better than that!” How often did adults say that to you when you were a kid? The thing is, yeah, maybe children sometimes do “know better.” But they don’t always do better do they? Heck, adults who know better don’t always do better. Why is that? Short answer—excess stress.

Lorraine Purgret, a professor of early childhood education at Fanshawe College in London Ontario, shared some great insights about all that in this Self-Reg Talk from SRSS 2021. Today we share her video in the latest in our series of reprised Self-Reg mini talks from past symposia.

What got Lorraine thinking about this issue was a long, stressful recovery from a traumatic cycling accident. Eventually she found herself locked in a stress cycle that left her largely unable to use her Self-Reg knowledge and practice to help herself. Lorraine shares what that experience taught her about her own self-regulation, and what she needed to break out of that stress cycle.

Here’s a sample:

“Through co-regulation I came to realize that what I really needed was a feeling of safety. My limbic alarm was always on. When I was co-regulating I was hearing what I actually already knew. I knew this, but I had to hear it from another person. Through co-regulation I identified when I felt safe. And I actually had a few strategies, that [at the time] I didn’t realize I had, that provided me with that safety. So co-regulation, for me, led to calm. And calm allowed me to really start to focus on what was going on in my body… and also helped me sort out some of my emotions related to the trauma.”

But Lorraine doesn’t just reflect on her own Self-Reg. She also shares how she applied these insights to better understand and support the self-regulation lapses she and other educators and parents often see in young children. Her thoughts are worthwhile for any educator or parent. 

Watch the whole talk from Lorraine here.

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