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How do babies learn to regulate their emotions?

To learn how to regulate your emotions you need to be able to recognise what they are. See how Orson builds up his knowledge of feelings and facial expressions during interactions with his family.

Good for looking at

  • Understanding facial expressions
  • Understanding emotions and feelings
  • Becoming responsive to others expressions
  • Being influenced by the moods of others

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Transcript of video – How do babies learn to regulate their emotions?

Mum still feeds his facial expressions and moods back to him, and the connections he makes linking a particular facial expression with a feeling will be getting stronger. By acknowledging and naming Orson’s feelings Mum tunes into him making him feel understood and loved. Gradually this enables his brain to create a kind of visual library of facial expressions, which are connected to the emotional feelings and what they’re called.

Orson is becoming increasingly responsive to other’s expressions. Here they are all happy and laughing, then Seb bangs his face on the guitar. The mood changes. When Orson turns round to look at James he sees his concerned expression and mirrors it, turning to looking at Seb much more carefully. Watch again as these facial expressions are often fleeting. Although his reaction is still much slower than Dad’s he ‘s starting to be able to adjust his behaviour to fit the situation. This process may help to explain how Orson can become influenced by the moods of others. If those around him have a happy face he will feel the same. If he sees they’re frightened for example this mood will transfer to him. This also works the other way round as people are influenced by Orson’s expressions.