Ep #156: 2024: The Year of Self-Regulation

Real World Peaceful Parenting with Lisa Smith | 2024: The Year of Self-Regulation

At the beginning of each year, I like to declare a theme that guides the parenting work we do. The theme for Real World Peaceful Parenting in 2024 is self-regulation, and throughout the year, we’ll be exploring ways to learn, engage, and support self-regulation so you can pave the way for your children.

My ultimate goal for this year is for all of us to become emotionally mature. This is a skill we can all improve on, myself included. Emotional maturity is the ability to hold space for other people’s emotions and experiences, but to do that effectively, you first need to develop the skill of self-regulation. It’s the secret to peaceful parenting in 2024, and I’m showing you why.

Join me on this episode to discover why I’m committed to a year of self-regulation in 2024, and how to model it for your children. I’m offering three reasons why you too should be committed to improving your self-regulation skills, and showing you how self-regulation grants you access to your higher brain, fosters calmness, and enhances your overall well-being.


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What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • What emotional maturity is all about.
  • The key traits of emotional immaturity.
  • Why we need the skill of self-regulation.
  • 3 compelling reasons for improving your self-regulation skills.
  • How to be a source of calm during a storm.
  • Why self-regulation enhances your well-being.


Listen to the Full Episode:


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  • Send us an email!
  • Message me on Instagram and tell me how you felt after 10 minutes of undivided attention with your child.
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Full Episode Transcript:

Welcome to Real World Peaceful Parenting, a podcast for parents that are tired of yelling, threatening, and punishing their kids. Join mom and master certified parent coach Lisa Smith as she gives you actionable step-by-step strategies that’ll help you transform your household from chaos to cooperation. Let’s dive in.

Welcome, welcome, welcome. Welcome and happy New Year. I am thrilled to be with you here today, ringing in 2024. I am super excited to embark on this journey with you in the coming year as your parent coach. Let me begin today’s podcast by sending best wishes to you, your kids, and your entire family for a year filled with growth, understanding, peace, and self-regulation.

Each year at the beginning of the year, I declare a theme for us. I try to have most of the episodes revolve around the theme. So in today’s podcast, I want to reveal the theme for 2024. I know for sure you’re absolutely going to love it.

Now before I tell you the exact theme, I want to tell you that my goal in the coming year is to help you be more emotionally mature. We all can improve on this, myself-included. Emotional maturity has nothing to do with age, nothing. It’s the ability to self-regulate, self-reflect, and hold space for other people’s emotions and experiences. One can’t self-reflect or hold space without self-regulating.

So the theme for 2024 is the year of self-regulation. The opposite of emotional maturity is emotional immaturity. A key trait of emotional immaturity is a desire to blame, deflect, and project issues on to other people. Emotionally immature people often externalize their uncomfortable emotions. So they blame others. They deflect, change the subject, power struggle over things, and they project onto other people. Well, if you wouldn’t have done that, I wouldn’t have gotten mad. They externalize their uncomfortable emotions, often in the form of storming.

So if we want to work away from emotional immaturity and work towards emotional maturity and then model that for our children, we need self-regulation. It is with that realization that I deemed 2024 the year of self-regulation.

Self-regulation is an essential skill that allows us to recognize, understand, and manage our emotions effectively. It includes controlling impulsive reactions, handling stress, and nurturing emotional maturity. It’s really the backbone of emotional maturity.

So self-regulation is important. But you might be asking yourself, why is it so important in parenting? Well, let me outline a few compelling reasons, and let me motivate you to improve your self-regulation skills. The first reason we want to work on self-regulation in our parenting is that our kids observe what we do, not what we say.

As parents, if we want our children to develop regulation skills, they need to witness us practicing it consistently. Kids follow what we do, not what we say. We call this modeling. By modeling self-regulation, we teach our kids, we show our kids through the modeling how to regulate themselves.

Secondly, imagine two stormy weather systems colliding. When a storming child meets a storming parent, it always leads to an explosion, 100% of the time. The way to navigate this tempest is for us, as the parents, to regulate our emotions and our responses. Right? Good use of the word tempest, right.

So let me say that again. The way to navigate the colliding storms and avoid the explosion is not to wait around for our kids to regulate. It’s for us to regulate our emotions and our responses. Self-regulation is the key. We need to model it for them, and we need to let them borrow it, and we need to just bring it into the relationship.

Thirdly, self-regulation is the first step towards responding rather than reacting. When we’re in control of our emotions, we can respond thoughtfully rather than impulsively. We can consistently work to respond rather than react. Then over time it becomes our go to. It becomes our habit. It becomes our way of parenting.

As a result of that repeated habit over time, trust and safety gets built between you and your kids. They come to learn and know that you are a source of calm during their biggest storms. They come to know that when they make a mistake, they can run to you instead of away from you because you will help them calm down.

You’re that source of regulation, even when things are going wrong. They learn that you are part of the solution instead of being someone who brings their own storm to the party for an explosion.

I see this so clearly now with my 19 year old college freshman. As he faces adversity, mistakes, setbacks, and challenges, he often seeks out my calm energy. Not necessarily my solution or my advice, but he seeks my calm energy so that he can come alongside me and co-regulate. He comes to me to borrow my regulation, and rest in the safety of regrouping, and figuring out his next best step.

This is because self-regulation is one of the first tools that I learned when I started down this path of peaceful parenting. I committed to it fully, and I’ve been practicing it. I’ve worked at it. I’ve implemented it over the last 15 years. Not always perfectly and not 100% of the time, but I made a commitment to it as my main parenting tool.

I’ve developed the skill and the habit so that now more often than not, it’s my go to when he’s storming. I can see the commitment to showing up as a regulated parent with my kid who’s often very, very, very dysregulated is paying off tenfold. I want that for you and your kids.

Self-regulation is the backbone to connection and cooperation with your children. Let me say that again. Self-regulation is the backbone to connection and cooperation in the relationship between the parent and the child.

Lastly, when we practice self-regulation, it enhances our wellbeing. We feel better about ourselves, about our parenting, and the environment we create for our kids. That’s because self-regulation grants us access to our higher brain. It fosters calmness and rational thinking. It allows us to utilize executive function, enable better decision making, and problem solving. It helps us see our blind spots. It helps us see our triggers. It helps us identify our wounds, and most importantly, shows us the bigger picture and allows us to be a couple steps ahead.

Self-regulation keeps us out of judgment of ourselves and our kids. It keeps us away from perfectionism and catastrophizing and helps us stay curious, not furious. It helps us scuba dive down to the feelings and needs instead of snorkeling at the top on the behavior.

Self-regulation helps us drop fears, and not take our kids behavior personally. Self-regulation helps us not catastrophize and have our kids living under a bridge with a shopping cart in the future. Self-regulation allows us to hear, to really hear, what our kids are saying and be fully present with our kids because our brains are not spinning ahead and catastrophizing or spinning behind and remembering the past or making connections that aren’t necessary or helpful.

It allows us not to snorkel at the top with a quote bad behavior and focus on that, but rather scuba dive down to the feelings and needs and wonder what’s going on with the whining, the sibling fighting, the sneaking the iPad, the not turning in the homework, the saying no all the time.

What we know is that when we solve for the feelings and needs, the behavior takes care of itself. Yeah? Yes. Self-regulation is the key that unlocks all those doors. When you’re unlocking those doors, you just feel calm and like your best self, and I want that for you, and I want that for your kids.

So throughout this year, we’re going to explore various avenues to learn, engage, and support self-regulation. On upcoming episodes, I’m going to share practical tips, techniques, and success stories related to self-regulation in action so you can see it, you can visualize it, and you can implement it in your own family.

I encourage you, yes you, to join me on this journey towards self-regulation. I asked you to make a commitment to it. Really make it one of your goals in 2024. What I know for sure is that it’s a commitment, and a goal that benefits not only you, but your kids and your entire family. As we work on regulating ourselves, we pave the way for emotional growth and maturity within ourselves and our children.

Who doesn’t want to be more emotionally mature and have their children raised their emotional maturity? There is absolutely no point in expecting your kids to be able to regulate themselves if you’re not modeling regulation in the home. Let me say that again. It will not happen. Do not expect your kids to be able to regulate themselves if you’re not regulating yourself and modeling it for them.

Now, that may be hard to hear, but it’s the truth. It’s helpful if you can really wrap your brain around it, and make the commitment to joining me in self-regulation in 2024. In closing, let me also say that self-regulation isn’t just an individual endeavor. It’s a collective vision for a connected and cooperative community. It is. It is the one tool that can change the world, individually one family at a time, and collectively. I believe this to the bottom of my heart.

I am immensely proud of you and grateful that you’re joining me in this journey. This is really important. I want this for you. I want it for myself. I want it for our kids, and I want it for the world. If we could all learn to self-regulate just a little bit better than we are today, the world will be a different place.

So as we step into this year, I am extending my hand to you. I’m inviting you to embrace the goal of self-regulation. It’s the key to fostering healthier relationships, managing your emotions effectively, and creating a more peaceful environment in your home and around you. Let me say that again.

As we learn together and improve our self-regulation, it is the key to fostering healthier relationships. Whether the other person in the relationship does anything or not, if you work on self-regulation, not regulating them but regulating yourself, you will have healthier relationships. If you work on regulating yourself, you will manage your emotions more effectively. If you work on regulating yourself, you will create a more peaceful environment around you. So good, right.

I’m so motivated to do this, and I hope you are too. Thank you for taking the challenge with me. Thank you for joining me. I believe in you wholeheartedly. I’m committed to helping you increase your self-regulation in 2024. I’m going to leave you with this inspiring thought. Embrace the power of self-regulation. It’s the compass that guides us to a more harmonious existence. Until next time, I’m wishing you a happy New Year and peaceful parenting.

Thank you so much for listening today. I want to personally invite you to head over to thepeacefulparent.com/welcome and sign up for my free peaceful parenting mini-course. You’ll find everything you need to get started on the path to peaceful parenting just waiting for you over there at www.thepeacefulparent.com/welcome. I can’t wait for you to get started.

Thanks for listening to Real World Peaceful Parenting. If you want more info on how you can transform your parenting, visit thepeacefulparent.com. See you soon.


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About the author

Lisa Smith

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