Importance of Promoting Self-Regulatory Abilities in Early Childhood Period

Sengul Mertol Ilgar, Cigdem Karakurt


Self-regulation is defined as an individual’s self-awareness, one’s awareness about the environment and the determination of how to interact with the environment to achieve his/her own goals. Self-regulation, which has an important role in an individual’s social relations and increasing his/her quality of life, starts developing after birth. Early childhood period is a period in which children start to use their mental strategies to control their impulses, emotions, and thoughts; to behave according to social and ethical values; and to direct their own thoughts and behaviors to meet their own goals and others' expectations. All of these abilities that are targeted to be acquired in early childhood are conceptualized as self-regulatory abilities. Self-regulation is a structure that keeps a balance between socio-cultural values and individual’s needs. Self-regulation acquired in early childhood period also affects processes such as pro-social behaviors, school readiness, academic achievement and high levels of empathy. This study is a review research emphasizing the importance of self-regulatory abilities that should be promoted in early childhood period. In the study, literature is reviewed, self-regulatory abilities are defined, and suggestions are made regarding promoting children’s self-regulatory abilities in early childhood period.

Keywords: Early childhood period, Self-regulation, Childhood

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