Managing Challenging behaviors through Co-regulation- part 1

A video blog by Pinki Kumar on teaching Co-regulation techniques to your child in order to mange the challenging behaviors. A must watch doable approach for the parents to help a child during their meltdowns. Part – 1

Author Pinki Kumar

Pinki is a special educator, play therapist and a mother of a neurodivergent kid. She has a YouTube channel Play and learn to teach different methods and strategies. These videos are a great resource for the parents to help their child learn various skills.

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Can Shaadi season be a learning reason?

Travelling, learning and therapy- a homeschooling series by Manju K Iyer

Can Shaadi season be a learning reason? Let’s find the answer

Attending Marriage of a Cousin in Lonavala :

A great opportunity to travel, meet new people and socialise, exposure to overwhelming sensory surroundings for a Homeschooling family.

From Mumbai we had gone to attend a Marriage of my cousin at Lonavala. For a Homeschooler like me. Every opportunity coming my way is a golden one. The car trip itself was very interesting. We booked Uber from Vasai to Lonavala. The driver was a big fan and follower of Shivaji Maharaj. Lavanya shared what all she knew about Shivaji maharaj according to her knowledge from reading books. The Driver got motivated even more to tell her the tales about Shivaji Maharaj which she concentrated on listening to. Some words she understood and some I explained again to her.

In the marriage she saw beautifully dressed ladies. She got to meet a lot of new relatives she has never met before and she didn’t miss the opportunity in narrating to them her favourite Indian epic stories. I would say she found some good listeners. I noticed my daughter has reached the stage where she wants to show off now what all she knows…

During the marriage procession she saw other relatives singing some marriage songs on the mike.. She expressed her wish to sing as well and readily went to sing some of the songs she remembered. I think this has been the first marriage I attended where I saw her sitting in one place for a longer duration without feeling overwhelmed with a lot of sensory input and the need of running away to self regulate. It was a big achievement for us. I can say all efforts put together all these years have reached a state now where we can take her to places without worrying about how she will regulate herself for long hours.

After that we decided to do a short trip to Khandala. We went to Wagdevi temple, a pond, a park, sunset point and came back to leave for my sister’s home. This trip gave me a lot of confidence to take her to different places without worrying like before.

As looking for opportunities to learn for my daughter has become my second nature. There are possibilities that I might have done some things which I couldnt note down as well.. Hence I am sending some points which can be used to keep in mind when you go to a wedding or any function with your child.

1. Lets not shy to talk to people, your child is watching you. Conversations can help them listen and learn a lot in the process of understanding others’ perceptions.

2. Be focused on what you want to do instead of what others might be thinking about you or judging you.

3. Give the opportunity to your kid to take your pictures. Don’t think he or she won’t be able to do it. Kids learn when they do. Let the make mistakes and learn.

4. During lunch and dinner, let the child choose what they want to eat and carry their own plates if they can. I know it can be difficult. But try your best to let them be independent in choosing what they want to eat and carry their own plates.

5. Show them the procession and explain what is happening around them in easy language so that they can carry the memory.

6. Take pictures during the ceremonies, so that you show it to them later and discuss it in detail to help language development through exposure.

So, if it’s shaadi season, then do not worry, it can be ofcourse a reason to explore and learn.

Author Manju K Iyer

Manju K Iyer is a Psychologicist, Counselor,  Parent coach, Play Therapist, Homeschooler and Founder of PlayTime ( A coaching program for parents of children with special needs).

Artwork by Dhrov Tikoo

Creative representation for this blog’s theme is done by our talented CreativeSaathi associate Dhrov Tikoo.

BloggerSaathi CreativeSaathi

Good travel, good learning, good therapy and the best memories

Travelling, learning and therapya homeschooling series by Manju K Iyer

We have come from Gurgaon to Mumbai visiting my sister in Vasai after a long gap after lockdown. I made this visit for 45 days. After coming here, I decided that we will explore nearby areas on foot. As I am homeschooling my daughter, staying at a relative’s place and exploring the neighbourhood areas was a part of my plan to build a base for learning because for her walking itself is a big task and also a beautiful co-regulation activity.

We went to many places in the past week like a temple, a pond, a church, a market, an exhibition on different days. Daily walking in the day time gathering some vitamin D from our favourite Suryadev.

Yesterday, I thought let’s try the areas nearby Vasai station to see if there will be something to shop as well as learning for Lavanya. As its far away we took an auto. On the way I saw a Gurdwara, I instantly decided, this is the learning spot for us today. I had never gone to a Gurdwara before this. As we entered the gate Lavanya spotted a poster on the wall which spoke about the proper dress code. So now the challenge was whom to ask if we are still allowed as we did not have a dupatta to cover our heads. Luckily some volunteers were doing seva in a group. I pushed
Lavanya to go and ask them help. Before she went they themselves approached and guided us to a lady volunteer who helped us wear cloth on head and guided us on how to pray and shared meaning of whole mantra they say. Lavanya had conversations with her as she caries a curious mind with her which makes her ask lot of questions. In the process Lavanya got lot of oppotunities to talk to total strangers and some socialisation part was covered according to my plan.

While we were returning, one volunteer was washing clothes. So Lavanya had questions to ask him like where will you dry this, are the clothes heavy etc. He answered patiently and fulfilled her curiousity.

We also sat to do some seva with other volunteers there by making small parts of used puja flowers which will be then used as manure for plants. Here I got again an opportunity for doing a coregulation activity where my role was to hand over flowers to her one by one and she had to seperate the petals. Here again she did some discussions and my heart felt content that this is what I always wanted to happen.

This is our experience of our homeschooling with some learning some therapy and socialising with the volunteers and getting blessings of babaji.

Learning can happen anywhere and anytime. Thanks for reading. 🥰🙏

Author Manju K Iyer

Manju K Iyer is a Psychologicist, Counselor, Parent coach, Play Therapist, Homeschooler and Founder of PlayTime ( A coaching program for parents of children with special needs).

Artwork by Lavanya Iyer

Lavanya Iyer is the daughter of the author Manju K Iyer. She is 9 years old and on Autism spectrum. She loves to read, draw, paint, and do traditional dance. She is a CreativeSaathi junior with our team now.

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Co-regulation and Daily Learning – I

In this blog post, I want to clarify how to use the four LIFE pillars to think about your choices.

LIFESMART Tip: Enrich parent-child interactions (F: Family interactions) to set the stage for daily Learning (L).

Last week, I introduced three key techniques:

1) Regulation-Challenge-Reorganization (RCR),

2) Just Noticeable Differences (JNDS).

3) four patterns of interaction,

When a parent practices the three techniques consistently, parent-child interactions (F: Family interactions) improve setting the stage for daily Learning (L).

In this article, I will discuss the first technique, RCR practice by parents and daily Learning. I will also introduce the notion of co-regulation and explain how RCR is a key tool for practicing co-regulation.

Choosing your Path

If you are a parent of a young child and are wondering where to begin, I invite you to consider the idea of co-regulation. Co-regulation is the foundation of learning. Yet, it does not seem to be identified as a good starting point for parents of neurodivergent children! We were fortunate to discover co-regulation through Relationship Development Intervention (RDI).

The Journey Begins

Initially, we focused on L (Learning daily) and F (Family interactions).

In the early stages, Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) emphasizes the interplay of these two elements. Under typical development, parent-child interactions are the foundation for learning. At this stage, we did not address I (Interests) or E (Engagement with community) explicitly.

The key point is that while all LIFE components are equally important, we may focus more on different elements at different times.

The focus of RDI was the guided participation relationship between the parent and child. Restore the Family interactions (F) to build the foundations of guided participation which is the base for Learning daily (L).

The focus of Family interactions in the early years is developing parent and child interactions. Neurotypical development also begins here. Dr. Gutstein used to say that neurotypical children have thousands of hours or co-regulation practice with parents before they start peer interactions. If co-regulation with parent is disrupted, that needs to be restored before trying to get peer interactions.

Co-regulation and Daily Learning

Read about co-regulation here.

According to this article, “The supportive process between caring adults and children, youth or young adults that fosters self-regulation development is called “co-regulation.”

Role of parents/caregivers

  • Provide a warm, responsive relationship
    • displaying care and affection;
    • recognize and respond to cues that signal needs and wants
    • provide caring support in times of stress
  • Create an environment that is physically and emotionally safe for children, youth, and young adults to
    explore and learn at their level of development .
    • Develop consistent, predictable routines and expectations
    • Provide clear goals for behavior regulation
    • Provide well-defined logical consequences for negative behaviors.
  • Teach self-regulation skills

How does Regulation, Challenge, Reorganization (RCR) enhance co-regulation and daily learning?

The four patterns of activities discussed below are based on RCR (Regulation, Challenge, Reorganization) is one of the most valuable parenting concepts that I learned from Relationship Development Intervention (RDI). The parent sets up a pattern of interaction with competent roles for parent and child. The key is to set up a predictable pattern the child can recognize so that the child is regulated in the activity. Once the child is familiar with the pattern, introduce variations or challenges. Add the variations gradually to enable the child to accept the variations and reorganize the initial pattern of interaction. Practice the basic pattern for many days before introducing variations. This article describes four simple patterns of interactions that parents can use to implement RCR in daily life activities.

RCR reduces stress and enhances engagement by providing predictability, incremental development, and consistency.

RCR is a technique for creating consistent, predictable interactions while introducing variations and novelty. RCR is a technique for practicing co-regulation.

Learn more about RDI here.

Watch the video below for a description of how RDI changed our path: