Controlling and self-soothing strategies

Mo used to be quite carefree. But that seemed to change when he moved up to his secondary school. You noticed that he was starting to fixate on certain music and games, playing them over and over, obsessing over reviews, burying himself in their narrow worlds. He was definitely less at ease with his friends, seemingly drawn to people like Saf and Erik, who shared off-beat interests, spoke in a kind of closed lexicon. It was like they were building a version of the world that was real to them, controllable. His work at school wasn’t suffering; in fact his focus seemed to be getting more intense all the time. Like he was making himself into someone on his own terms. You wondered if you needed you anymore… or whether he needed anyone who didn’t fit into his echo chamber?

Children who develop a fixed bias toward low self-disclosing AND an increased bias toward low seeking-change can have increased risks: they can become intractable, self-reliant and controlling. They may be drawn to intense, inward-looking relationships and closed and unhealthy patterns of thinking. They can be at risk of developing perfectionism or other anxiety-controlling self-soothing strategies. They can become fixed and difficult to help.

The articles on this page will guide parents how to put in place signposts at home so that children developing a bias toward low self-disclosing, along with low seeking change, can learn to steer more healthily.

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