angry litte girl

What Does Dysregulation Look Like in a Child?

It’s really just about staying regulated, staying present, and making real connection with my kids. Only then can I truly influence them positively. But sometimes those words sound so lofty and vague, right? “Yeah, but what does that mean?? What does that look like?” Here’s an example of what that can look like.

Our two kids sometimes get really dysregulated together. It looks like they’re playing but it’s way too rough. If we leave them alone, it usually escalates to one of them getting hurt and/or something broken, which fans the dysregulation flames when one of them feels like a bad kid. My husband and I usually get scared when we see this rough playing and want to break it up as quickly as possible. There’s no way our kids will go sit in a chair or anything else we might ask when they get like that, which is part of why we get so scared. It’s a seemingly out-of-control situation and we have zero influence— or at least that’s how it feels.

Feeling Regulated

Feeling fairly regulated recently when that happened, I let go of the instant gotta-break-it-up feeling and casually strolled in, waiting for something brilliant to come to me. Although I wasn’t consciously planning it, I was attempting to feel present. Well, it worked because I stood there looking at them wrestling in the bunk bed and the kids, expecting me to get upset, were kind of shocked to hear me say, “Hey, can I play, too?” After a half-second pause, in stereo they replied, “SURE!” and their angry demeanor changed instantly to joy.

I don’t know why, but I just really wasn’t expecting that response. I was expecting something with expletives… But anyway, I didn’t have to exert myself physically to play, just played a little bit with tickling fingers, pretend, etc. and then within about ninety seconds I could sense that I was able to suggest moving them onto a calmer activity (or maybe one of them spontaneously decided to go somewhere else, can’t recall since I’ve now done this “technique” several times).

Read also: 7 Things I Do Everyday to Help Bring Peace To Our Home

Mother’s Love – Is it Innate?

The idea of maternal love has been ingrained in our culture for a long time as something we take for granted. For my part, I like to speak about the mother-child link, which is more definite than the concept of love, which may mean so many different things to different people. This ability to connect with her child, on the other hand, does not come naturally to the mother; it is developed over time and via the experiences she will have with her child.

In this case, the mother’s background will be crucial. How was she received, loved, and accepted by her own mother, after all?  This very first link will obviously be at the heart of her interaction with her child, and, depending on the story, will lead her to repeat or repair what she herself has experienced.

The Importance of Attachment Between Parents and Child

A baby who establishes a healthy and secure attachment with his parents during his first years of life is more likely to be well prepared to deal with challenging events later in life. On the other hand, a child who is unable to develop this deep attachment may face difficulty later in life in a variety of areas, including interpersonal interactions. As you respond to your child’s needs in a timely, consistent, and warm manner, the attachment relationship grows. This strong bond has a number of beneficial implications on his development.

Contrary to popular belief, attachment can actually assist kids in becoming more independent as a result of their trust in themselves and their parents. Attachment, in essence, can set a favorable or negative course for a child’s development, influencing how they create ties and interact with others as adults. A child’s self-confidence is also rooted in healthy attachment, as the experience of being cared for throughout his or her growth has validated the child’s worth. As a result, they have a secure foundation on which to develop independence and discovery.

Infants learn to control their emotions and conduct when their parents respond to them. Stress hormones are generated in the brain when newborns are overworked. When caregivers respond with calming activities, the child’s hormones are reduced. The brain creates pathways over time that allow this relaxing response to kick in during stressful times. When a child is furious or disappointed, they eventually learn to calm down.

Why Sometimes Mother-daughter relationship becomes complicated?

Often mother and daughter relationship is complicated because it is a relationship that has to evolve and can experience periods of friction. Many mothers and daughters tell me that they are ashamed of their relationship problems. They believe they “should” be able to get along since conventional wisdom dictates that moms and daughters should be close. Because of this societal expectation, moms and daughters blame themselves for their relationship problems.

Read also: Misbehaving Kids Are They Really Being Naughty Kids?

The father-son relationship is not easier, but we never talk about it. The difference is that the mother has carried the daughter, she must lead her to adulthood starting from herself. So at some point she will have to defuse. It is a unique bond of love often marked by ambivalence.

Moms have experienced lives that are vastly different from ours as daughters. Mothers want us to live the way they did as children, but things have changed, and the same rules no longer apply. Daughters, on the other hand, are baffled as to why their mothers are so controlling.

Jealousy could also be present. Mothers and daughters might be jealous of each other. We may believe to ourselves, “When she was my age, she was successful at work, she was married to someone who loved her, and she understood exactly what she wanted in life.” I wish I had the ability to follow in her footsteps.

In close and complicated familial connections, guilt is a common emotion. It’s a difficult and powerful emotion that, once fully comprehended, appears to serve no purpose. When it comes to moms and daughters, guilt can arise when one or both of them are harshly critical of the other.

Read also: 3 Small Pieces of Advice for Parenting Tiny Kids

Building Positive Relationship With Your Child

The ability to express and recognize one’s own feelings, as well as the sentiments of others, is essential for forming positive, healthy relationships. Teach youngsters how to express their anger in appropriate ways, such as sketching an angry image, sprinting in the yard, or throwing a pillow on the floor. “I’m glad because you helped me clean up,” or “I’m sad because Grandma had to travel home,” label your own sentiments. It’s crucial for kids to understand that they, too, have feelings, but that there are ways to deal with them so that you can feel better.

Respective your child’s feeling

Respect, like love, is something we may choose to express even if we aren’t feeling it. I understand that some people believe love is just a sensation, but I believe it to be so much more. You may wish for them to cease feeling so strongly since you are too preoccupied to console them right now. Maybe you don’t want them to feel anything because you don’t like being sad, angry, or ashamed.

Perhaps all you want to do is save them from the agony of uncomfortable feelings. We miss a crucial opportunity to demonstrate respect when we try to force children to do something they don’t want to do or don’t feel comfortable doing. You respect your children’s integrity when you learn to appreciate their sentiments. Let them know that it’s alright to be themselves, even if their feelings aren’t the same as yours. You can begin to assist your children by teaching them how to recognize their emotions.

Help your child talk about feelings

How do you show your child that you care? By talking about her feelings and ideas and recognizing that they are true for her. By addressing different people’s opinions on the same subjects, you can help her enhance her critical thinking abilities and empathy. By valuing her identity and the health of her body. By beginning with the child and progressing from there.

Instead of teaching kids how to feel, encourage them to tell you what they’re thinking and feeling about what’s going on around them or to them. Stop what you’re doing and offer them your entire attention when they begin to talk to you about their feelings.  Correct your child in a respectful manner when they are being disrespectful.It’s not beneficial to yell and get offended, or to have your own attitude in response to theirs.

Getting enraged just encourages them to continue their disrespectful behavior. It’s true that it’s difficult to be a good teacher if you allow their disrespectful behavior to impact you. Instead, you might take your youngster aside and clearly communicate what is and is not appropriate. You don’t have to yell at them or humiliate them.


With this attitude, you are putting all the chances on your side to build the foundations of a quality relationship with your child. Indeed, he will find it easier to talk to you about his problems knowing that you are able to handle them calmly. You are a guide, an ally, and not a source of potential conflict.

Anyway, how happy I am to find this! That old panic is so instant that I sometimes forget this idea, but when I do it, it’s a great way to handle their dysregulation. Turns out they’ve been begging me to help calm them down, but I was so wrapped up in my fear that I couldn’t hear what they were really saying.


I’m a writer, new mom and foodie. I love sharing what I know while making others feel beautiful. On this blog, I share my healthy lifestyle, simple meals, fitness tips and experiences.

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Kara Bout It