An Expert Weighs In: Teaching Self Regulation & Diffusing Tantrums - Beach Cities Moms

Let’s face it Moms, parenting a toddler can be TOUGH sometimes, and it’s easy to wonder if you’re doing it “right” and if there are things you could be doing to make a difficult situation easier – especially in the heat of the moment. We sat down with Bryana Kappa, parenting expert and owner of South Bay Mommy & Me, to give us her tips on tackling two issues we all face while parenting – self regulation and diffusing tantrums.

𝗦𝗲𝗹𝗳-𝗿𝗲𝗴𝘂𝗹𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 is 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘬𝘦𝘺 𝘵𝘰 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 that is missing from our daily conversations. While we’ve begun to embrace the importance of self-care, self-care is pointless if the end goal is not self-regulation.⁣⁣
Self-regulation is necessary in order to help our children regulate their emotions. Without it, children often feel insecure in our ability to help them calm down. In fact, children require co-regulation with someone supportive until their brain reaches fully emotional maturity, which experts now say is 30 years old! 🧠 The notion that children should independently calm their own emotions is not based in science. This must be addressed if we want to improve child-parent relationships.⁣⁣
If I’m not experiencing difficult emotions in my own home, I’m seeing it in my office. I have witnessed first hand the power of a parent’s regulation in a stressful moment: usually pretty quickly, the child feels contained and the emotions are more manageable. I have also seen the detrimental effects a parent’s dysregulation has on the child’s ability to cope.⁣⁣
Learning how to self-regulate is a process that takes time, patience, and practice. I like to help parents get out of their heads and into their bodies, as this can be one of the most effective ways to regulate while under stress or pressure. Perhaps start by relaxing your shoulders, unclenching your jaw, taking a Buddha belly breath, feeling your feet on the floor, or orienting to your immediate 5 senses. I like to start with one of these techniques, and then see if I need more until I’m feeling centered. With practice, this process takes about 3-5 seconds, and can be life-changing when you’re managing the many emotions of young children.⁣⁣
Self-regulation is absolutely required to help our children work through their big feelings.  After all, children are monkey see, monkey do.  They are learning from us how to calm their bodies, how to use their words when they are stressed, and how to work through problems.  We are not only their models but their guides in this process.  We don’t need to be perfect at self-regulation – no one is – but, if we make an effort to practice these skills, our children will notice and it will have an impact on their ability to manage big feelings.
No matter how old your child is, it isn’t too late to start implementing these tools for yourself.  Come to a group at South Bay Mommy and Me (www.southbaymommyandme) if you have a child under 24 months to learn more about this and to practice these skills in the moment in a friendly, supportive environment.  If you’re child is older than 2, join me online at, where I offer an e-parenting course to learn these skills and change your family’s lives for the better.
 the AWE Method (How to Diffuse a Temper Tantrum)
I created the 𝗔𝗪𝗘 𝗺𝗲𝘁𝗵𝗼𝗱 to help parents find a quick and effective way to respond to their children’s big emotions. I designed this method out of necessity: parents need tangible tools on how to keep the peace in their homes. I want families to feel more content in their parenting journey. ⁣

While the AWE method does not replace the necessary self-work (like self-regulation), it definitely helps diffuse the tension and helps get both you and your child regulated.⁣

When we acknowledge the big emotions in an authentic way, we help our children feel seen and feel heard. This 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘢𝘳𝘮𝘴 the need to fight back, whereas invalidating the emotions empowers their anger.⁣

Then, we need to wait. We need to take a breath, feel our feet on the ground, and regulate. This is the hardest part of the 3-steps.⁣

Once we’re regulated, then we can engage with our child and connect through co-regulation. Our child requires our regulation to help them feel better. Here, we can set a simple limit, offer a gentle redirection, or support the problem-solving process. When we do this with warmth and compassion, our children feel safe and trust our ability to guide them.⁣

I do an extensive training on this method in my new e-course 𝘙𝘢𝘪𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘊𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘥𝘳𝘦𝘯 𝘠𝘰𝘶 𝘓𝘪𝘬𝘦. Join the waitlist ( – it’s free to join and you get perks for doing so.⁣  If you are local with a child under 2, join one of my Mommy and Me groups. My monthly parenting group for parents of children 2-5 yrs  is sold out, but stay tuned to my IG @southbaymommyandme for any openings that group may have in the future.

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