chapter  7
20 Pages

Self-Regulation of Attention, Behavior, and Emotions

It must be by design that the heavens have blessed infants with adorable features that endear them to their families and caregivers. Fortuitously, it takes considerable time before families realize that these cuddly bundles ofjoy do not come fully equipped at birth with a capacity to control themselves and direct their feelings in ways that respond to anyone's needs but their own. By the time children are in their third year of life, many families have more than once contemplated returning their little "angels"-if not permanently, for a longterm respite. By the time most families reach the brink of despair and lose all hope that their two-and-a-half-year-old will ever resemble anything that is close to being human, nature happily intercedes to reveal to families glimpses of each child's budding capacity for regulating his behavior and emotions and with it the hope that he will ultimately be able to accommodate to the needs and demands of the world in which he lives.