Co-regulation and Connection

Attending the Advancing School Mental Health Conference, I was reminded of the importance of co-regulation.We teach our children how to self-regulate through co-regulation. When we provide connection, warmth, a safe environment, and consistent teaching, our children will learn over time how to self-regulate in a positive way. This dance is timeless. As we grow older, we co-regulate together through life’s journey at all ages and through all seasons.

What does this look like in your life? Who do you co-regulate with on a daily basis? Who is there for you when you reach out to them periodically? You know the friends who are like soap operas, you can pick up right where you left off even if it has been awhile.

I believe hearing the discussion in my conference brought to light what I was practicing and knew cognitively. However, the emphasis stood out to me as a reminder to value relationships. See the little miracles in the day. The phone calls, the cards, the text messages, the hugs, the smiles, the listening ear…

Grand gestures are great; yet, it is the day to day small things that help us cope. Once you recognize something of value, you see it in everything. It’s like a spotlight moving away from the big picture to the small details of the moment. Yes, I see the day unfolding, and, within that day, I see the small gestures of love.

A few weeks ago, I went to hear my daughter sing in her high school group KnightScene. They performed the National Anthem for the homecoming game. The spotlight was the game. The small details were the people gathering, the conversations, the words of the anthem and what they were conveying in my heart, the community of people creating a moment of silence, the vocal group singing together in harmony for the first time since the COVID-19 impact. I was struck by the backdrop of crowd control regulations and the singing of an anthem that emphasizes freedom. The consistent and ongoing work of freedom. The people who help protect our freedom with their lives.

My heart and mind began to fill with gratitude for educators who show up day after day to offer hope and the ongoing expertise of educating our children. They are co-regulators extraordinaire. At a concert last night, a representative from Compassion International shared the reality for most children in our world. A point he made was limited funding and buildings for public education. Just imagine this. A child not having access to your local school building. It takes international funding to support the reality of a student getting an education along with food and medical support. Before we criticize a teacher, a school, or a division, think of the blessings, too. I try to stay away from comparative suffering. So, let me add that we can and must improve how we reach our next generation during these challenging times. I just want to pause and be grateful and say thank you. How can we be grateful and kind along with growth?

Take a moment to thank and educator.

Look around you today to see how you and others co-regulate. See it as a gift. Smile and say thank you.

Take notice of when you help others and release joy into their lives. Return to self-compassion to be filled.

Take notice of how you self-regulate and care for yourself.

Enjoy the video below of them singing. Thank you Rhonda for the video you captured. Also, I have a slideshow of some great connections lately……….love co-regulating with my friends, family, and the strangers I meet along the way………..

Thomas Dale High School KnightScene

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