Optimistic Leaders Stay Steady Amidst Uncertainty

  • Emotional regulation means noticing your emotions and actively deciding to control them. In my story above, I realized that worry was overtaking me, and I chose to manage the worry by actively practicing calm. We help children develop self-regulation — the ability to manage big feelings like anger, excitement, frustration, and anxiety — over time with practice.
  • Emotional contagion means “catching” the emotions of others. Our brains are wired to pick up on the emotions and behaviors in other people and unconsciously mirror them. I could have joined my Mom’s worried and pessimistic view of the hurricane and her situation. Instead, I set a tone and allowed her to “catch” mine. Emotional contagion can go both ways — you can catch or influence both negative and more optimistic emotions.
  1. When we regulate our emotions, we can make careful decisions for ourselves, our children, and each other.
  2. Steadiness supports a calm environment, and that helps children and adults feel safe.
  3. Steadiness calms the static — the noise in your head that is hard to quiet — and allows you to make effective decisions.
  • model how the skill of emotional regulation can be learned and improved.
  • recognize how negative emotional contagion and positive emotional contagion affect you, others, and the group.

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Leading for Children is a national nonprofit that empowers adults across the early childhood ecosystem to be leaders and learners.

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Judy Jablon and Nichole Parks

Judy Jablon and Nichole Parks

Leading for Children is a national nonprofit that empowers adults across the early childhood ecosystem to be leaders and learners.

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