Regression in Children
Regression in Children
How frustrating is it when a child in your care starts having toileting accidents when they have been potty trained for over a year? Do you see children refusing to climb up the stairs when they were perfectly capable of doing so yesterday?
You may be seeing regression happening in these children. Children often respond to stress by taking a step back developmentally.
Perhaps there is a new baby at home, or the disruption of schedules due to COVID-19 is negatively impacting the children
you work with.
It’s no wonder that many of us are seeing an uptake in regressive behaviour!
The one thing that these children are asking for is your reassurance and support. They are already feeling bad; they don’t need you to make them feel worse by shaming them for their regressions.
Dealing with Regression in General:
- Be kind. Empathize with the changes and losses the child is going through. Validate their experience. They’ll probably need to express their feelings before they can cooperate with efforts to behave more maturely.
- Maintain consistent routines. Help them take back control. Give them choices whenever possible. Maybe they need to hold your hand while out on a walk or want to help you and be near you.
- Take breaks. Are you and the children becoming more frustrated lately? Talk with your room partner and choose which activities are “non-negotiable” (i.e., handwashing, naptime, going outside.) You can choose many battles to avoid (i.e., sitting criss-cross applesauce, allowing the children to spend more time in activities they are enjoying.) Choose to avoid power struggles by being more flexible. Participate in the fun and silly activities you plan for the children.
- Move around. On the other hand, physical exercise relieves stress too. Spontaneous dance parties, animal yoga or a quick game of tag on the playground will alleviate their stress as well as yours.
- Enjoy nature. Just spending time outdoors can make you feel happier. Even though it’s winter, find any excuse you can to be out in nature. If that fails, bring nature inside. Put away the Mini Pops cd and opt for crashing waves or bird sounds instead.
- Be a role model. Your mood affects the children, especially the child experiencing regressive behaviour, remaining calm and cheerful when they slip will show them how to be more resilient.