By Sunny L., August 2020
As a childcare provider and a parent myself, I must constantly attune myself to the children around me, and be aware of their intense emotional states at times. I strive to help them unwind their emotional dysregulation in the safety of a our interaction. A caring relationship is key.
So, what is self-regulation, and how can we successfully share this concept with our children?
There are so many varied versions of “self-regulation” techniques out in the teaching and parenting world, and you may have heard of the more common ones at preschools and elementary schools. To help children manage impulses and disruptive emotional dysregulation, they can be taught modalities like Kimochis, the Zones of Regulation, mindful breathing techniques, Tucker Turtle, and designated yoga poses for kids. There are many more focusing on tolerance and boundaries in the face of feelings that can be overwhelming.
But as I researched the latest science in neurobiology (the nervous system), I was excited to discover Synergetic Play Therapy. (https://synergeticplaytherapy.com)
Although, I haven’t had formal training, only educating myself through online studies and resources on the Internet, I have tried to apply my understanding of Synergetic Play Therapy in my own personal and work life.
Don’t be deceived by the name “Play” therapy; Synergetic Play mainly refers to “a way of being in a relationship with self and others.”
Our bodies are surrounded by human energy (“Energetic Fields”). We are constantly interacting with others. It is so easy to feel triggered by other people’s BIG emotions, (or big struggles, like this pandemic), and it is especially hard when those feelings get translated into disruptive, negative behaviours.
As someone who works with children in a care environment, Synergetic Play Therapy is valuable as it taught me skills that combine the therapeutic powers of play with nervous system regulation. It is a way of expressing my inner mindfulness, and authenticity.