In a study conducted by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, self-regulation is defined as the act of managing thoughts and feelings to enable goal-directed actions.
This means finding ways to cope with strong feelings so they don’t become overwhelming; learning to focus and shift attention, and successfully controlling behaviors required to get along with others and work towards goals. Supporting self-regulation development in early childhood is an investment in later success because stronger self-regulation predicts better performance in school, better relationships with others, and fewer behavioral difficulties. Moreover, the ability to regulate thoughts, feelings, and actions helps children successfully negotiate many of the challenges they face, promoting resilience in the face of adversity.
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