parentsaathi Resources Story

Journey to Regulation…

I remember joining the LIFESMART group, thinking of it as another resource-group. Then started reading about Rama Ma’am’s daily posts explaining about the meaning of LIFESMART. First being, “Learn Daily ”, which was our core-struggle. Then she talked of Co-regulation with respect to Guided Participation. I asked more about it and it made sense as I felt the disconnect between our children and us as well as the lack of motivation to do anything except their favourite activity (without being robotic about it), were the major reasons to not being consistent. 

So, when Rama Ma’am suggested the idea of 100-day-projects, I chose “Co-regulation”. Now, you must be wondering, What is Co-regulation?

Co-regulation is 

  • social-referencing, 
  • back and forth communication, mostly non-verbal like gestures, body language, facial expressions.
  • Guess the pattern then follow it and act accordingly.

In a nutshell, its being “in-sync”, moment-to-moment, and learn to trust.

-Linda Murphy (Coregulation Handbook)

How to practice it ? (eg hanging clothes in clothesline)

  • Assign clear defined roles 

(Child : give clothes one at a time to Mommy, Mommy : hang it on clothesline)

  • Establish a pattern

(Child gives : Mommy hangs :: to-and-fro)

  • Add variation(s)

(Speed up/down)

  • Give challenges

(Clothesline is up high not upto our level)

Almost all our daily activities can be practised with these rules.

Things to keep in mind : 

  • Wait for 45-sec for the child to do his/her role. 
  • Don’t focus on the skill but on the process.
  • Refrain from prompting or instructing.
  • Try to maintain eye-contact not by asking for it but with actions.
  • Don’t force any role in an activity if the child doesn’t want to do that, go with the flow.   
  • Create competent roles for each other, we want to end the activity on a positive note.

Changes I noticed :

Myself :

  • Practising Co-regulation has made me calmer esp. during those activities. It’s regulating me too. 
  • I have learnt to wait for her responses.
  • It took me out of the crisis mode.
  • I have stopped looking for different kinds of therapies, after 11years of trial-and-error of so many therapies, I’m content and putting my 100% into it and have joined the formal RDI training. 

My daughter :

  • Very less prompting needed as the roles are clearly defined. 
  • Slowly few behaviours started fading away
  • Spontaneous speech even-if it is 2/3 words.
  • More confident in her demeanour.

After that, I took up 100-days-of-Movement, and now have a daily rhythm of both the activities combined as well as academics.

I would suggest everyone who reads this write-up to know more about Coregulation and think of starting it. The proof lies in the pudding. There is a separate thread on Coregulation on LIFESMART Telegram-channel. It’s a process which helps not only our kids but parents too.

Like us, one can start with a 100-day-project, research more about it, experiment with it, and see the results themselves. I was so impressed (read motivated) with the small small changes in us that I formally signed up for an annual RDI parent training.