Tag Archives: Regulation

Regulation, Baby Steps

I’ve been thinking hard about our new objective, which is basically getting Zip comfortable with a simple pattern, changing it slightly, letting him re-engage, rinse and repeat… The hardest part so far is getting him to recognize a pattern. I’ve been doing it informally around the house. If I sat him down in our RDI room, a distraction-free zone, it might be easier. But, I feel more pressured to “perform” RDI there and get frustrated more easily. So, I’m easing into, just playing around with the idea, seeing how Zip reacts, just figuring it out a bit.

Here’s some areas where I’ve worked on it, today and yesterday:

    • Putting laundry into the dryer
      Somewhat successful – sometimes when I  changed how I handed him the clothes, he just ignored me and reached into the washer and got one out himself.  But I felt a few moments of connection. I felt good because I was very aware of the RDI I was doing and not so focused on the goal.
    • At the dining room table with the Viewmaster
      Not successful – he didn’t pay any attention to what I was doing
    • Putting plastic eggs into a bucket

Very successful. He seemed to like this one, and stayed with me for this several times recently.

I’m also going to check our copy of  Slow and Steady, Get Me Ready. I think it has some ideas that might be fun to try.

Regulation Competence Introduction

Our new assignment is to work on regulation competence. This is my son’s ability to follow a pattern of activity with me. First, I will establish a pattern and give him a chance to understand and participate in it. Then I change it slightly and give him a chance to re-engage with the variation.  We are starting with a simple variant of this activity. This will build his dynamic intelligence.  My first challenge will be getting J to engage with a patterned activity.

As in all RDI parenting, I have to remain aware of the goal of the activity – the engagement, not the activity itself, like putting toys in the toybox. It’s best to end with the task undone and on a positive moment that we can say, “We did it.”

Zip tends to get distracted if we use lots of objects in an activity, so I might start with something with just one object. The example video that my RDI consultant showed me involved a mom and a baby taking off a pair of sunglasses. The mom varied where on her head she put the glasses for the baby to remove. It was great seeing the baby think it through each time as the position of the sunglasses changed. It was definitely dynamic intelligence in action. The mom used no words, just lots of facial expression and approving sounds. Once during the video, the baby disengaged a bit and the mom waited until she looked at her again. Her facial expression drew the baby back to the activity and it was repaired.

Zip might like that type of activity so I will start there. She’s asking for 6 cycles of this activity per day so I’ll have to think of more ideas. As I feel more competent in my role as guide, it gets easier to think of ideas, though at the beginning, I sometimes feel a bit uncreative. A little success in one interaction does wonders for my ability to think of new ways to try the activity.