First entering kindergarten can present many challenges for parents and children. And many kids aren’t able to control their behavior as they reach this critical phase.
According to a federally-funded study conducted by Michigan State University, kindergarteners are still learning how to self-regulate, and many need educational support to develop these skills.
Among children, self-regulation means focusing attention, controlling emotions and managing thinking, behavior and feelings.
While some children enter kindergarten able to control their behavior and ready to learn, others don’t develop these skills until they are in school – or even later.
The study also found that development of self-control was linked to several key factors including gender, language skills and mother’s education levels. Boys were more likely to be later developers.
Across the U.S. educational landscape, there has been a bigger focus on academic skills in preschool and kindergarten, and a lesser one on emotional and social skills.
The researchers suggest it may be time to put more focus back on self-regulation.