Self-regulation is a deep, internal mechanism that underlies mindful, intentional and thoughtful behaviors of children. Self -regulated children can delay gratification, stop themselves from doing something inappropriate, and consider more appropriate alternatives.
There is a big difference between children who behave well because they are controlled or regulated by others and those that are internally regulated.
An adult figure can demand compliance and the behavior, in that moment, might look fine. But the difference in children will show up. The regulated child might act out or have tantrums as soon as an adult is not around because he doesn’t know how to behave, because he is angry about all of the control or because the methods of controlling him are developmentally inappropriate. Other externally regulated children may remain compliant but not have much confidence. They also won’t have the skill sets to make decisions. These children may become passive followers.
The skills in the articles on this website will move your child towards internal self-regulation and improved behavior.