Each child is unique in how she shows emotional dysregulation. Some children have “fast and furious” emotional responses. Others are a bit more mellow. Knowing what triggers BIG feelings–and what helps to calm them–are essential parts of your learning journey as a nurturer.
Keep “The 3 B’s of Emotions” in mind: Emotions start in the brain, then flow to the body, and are finally shown in behavior.
You are the one with understanding and guidance. You have the ability to extend this gift as your DHH child develops self-awareness and self-regulation.
- Pause when I show signs of dysregulation. Try not to take my hard emotions personally. We all have rough moments. My upset does not mean you are doing something wrong.
- Most of the time, I am making my needs known in the only way I can. I am not trying to be difficult or manipulative. I am doing my best to understand myself and communicate my wants and needs.
- Attune to determine what might have triggered my upset. Ask yourself some questions:
- Might I be hungry?
- Am I hurting? Uncomfortable?
- Am I sick…or becoming sick?
- Are we following a daily routine that is working for my changing needs?
- Am I sleeping well lately?
- Did something startle me?
- Am I struggling to communicate in ways you can understand me?
- Am I disappointed that I cannot do what I want to do?
- Do I seem confused as to what is expected of me?
- Are my surroundings overwhelming me?
- Am I fearful about being apart from you?
- Are meeting new people and visiting new places unsettling for me?
- Am I experiencing drastic-to-me changes in my body, such as getting a new tooth, adjusting to a new listening device, or having more vivid dreams?
- Am I lonely, or maybe restless?
- Are my clothes itchy? My shoes too new or too tight?
- Is what you are asking of me a bit too challenging for my abilities?
- Is our family undergoing some changes or stressors? (I will pick up on all of your feelings!)