Camps that improve self-regulation

Understand your emotions

Self-regulation is:
• Conscientiousness, discipline, and self-control
• The ability to regulate emotions and behaviour
• Organization and executive functioning skills

In a camp setting, kids learn to “manage conflict with peers, adapt to change [and] exhibit cognitive flexibility,” among other things, as Una Malcolm says. Under our list of camps, find more about what’s meant by self-regulation, why it’s advantageous to develop this trait, and how camp offers unique lessons in this skill critical to kids’ long-term well-being. Read more

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List of camps and programs that promote self-regulation

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  • Traditional (multi activity)
  • Virtual Program, Day camp, Overnight camp

Transformative experiences learning in and through the outdoors—academic, athletic, for credit or enrichment. Spend every day outdoors on the water, in the forest, or at our farm—learn, have fun and stretch yourself. Read more...

  • Ages 13 to 17
  • Coed
  • from $450/session
Virtual Program, Day camp, Overnight camp openCamp Coed45013-170Virtual Program, , Lakefield, OntarioTraditional (multi activity) Lakefield College School Summer ProgramsTransformative experiences learning in and through the outdoors—academic, athletic, for credit or enrichment. Spend every day outdoors on the water, in the forest, or at our farm—learn, have fun and stretch yourself. Virtual Program, , Lakefield, Ontario Virtual Program, Day camp, Overnight camp Coed

Focus Learning Academic Centre   

Don Mills, Toronto

  • Education (multi)
  • Day camp, Program

An enrichment academic learning centre committed to igniting the love of learning among children and teens. A variety of subjects are on offer with both our FocusKids and FocusLeaders summer camps. Read more...

  • Ages 6 to 15
  • Coed
  • from $150/week
Day camp, Program openCamp Coed1506-151Don Mills, Toronto, OntarioEducation (multi)Focus Learning Academic CentreAn enrichment academic learning centre committed to igniting the love of learning among children and teens. A variety of subjects are on offer with both our FocusKids and FocusLeaders summer camps. Don Mills, Toronto, Ontario Day camp, Program Coed
  • Traditional (multi activity)
  • Virtual Program, Day camp, Program

Our online programs include Enrichment Classes for Language Arts, Math or STEAM for students in Gr. 1-8 and Online Credits for students in Gr. 9-12. Our day camp for campers in Gr. 1-8 provides a fun way to spend summer. Read more...

  • Ages 4 to 18
  • Coed
  • from $199/session
Virtual Program, Day camp, Program openCamp Coed1994-182Newmarket, OntarioTraditional (multi activity) Pickering College Credits, Enrichment Programs and CampsOur online programs include Enrichment Classes for Language Arts, Math or STEAM for students in Gr. 1-8 and Online Credits for students in Gr. 9-12. Our day camp for campers in Gr. 1-8 provides a fun way to spend summer. Newmarket, Ontario Virtual Program, Day camp, Program Coed

Camp Can-Aqua   

Haliburton Highlands; Oakville; Ottawa

  • Traditional (multi activity)
  • Overnight camp, Family camp

A traditional camp with diverse programming & exceptional instruction, we believe in teaching kids compromise, patients & empathy. Fun is a given. Through thoughtful & individualized programming, our campers thrive here. Read more...

  • Ages 5 to 17
  • Coed
  • from $2,100/2 weeks
Overnight camp, Family camp openCamp Coed21005-173Haliburton Highlands, Ontario, Oakville, Ontario, Ottawa, OntarioTraditional (multi activity) Camp Can-AquaA traditional camp with diverse programming & exceptional instruction, we believe in teaching kids compromise, patients & empathy. Fun is a given. Through thoughtful & individualized programming, our campers thrive here. Haliburton Highlands, Ontario, Oakville, Ontario, Ottawa, Ontario Overnight camp, Family camp Coed

Radiant Girls   

Burlington; Hamilton

  • Education: Leadership
  • Day camp, Overnight camp, Program, Family camp

Girls Wellness & Leadership programs, with prof. coaches, chef's and trainers. Featuring Yoga/Pilates, Outdoor Adventures, Confidence & EI Activities, Meaningful Art, Leadership Games, Relationship Building, and More! Read more...

  • Ages 7 to 18
  • Girls
  • from $100/week
Day camp, Overnight camp, Program, Family camp openCamp Girls1007-184Burlington, Ontario, Hamilton, OntarioEducation: LeadershipRadiant GirlsGirls Wellness & Leadership programs, with prof. coaches, chef's and trainers. Featuring Yoga/Pilates, Outdoor Adventures, Confidence & EI Activities, Meaningful Art, Leadership Games, Relationship Building, and More! Burlington, Ontario, Hamilton, Ontario Day camp, Overnight camp, Program, Family camp Girls

SV Robotics Academy   

Markham; Brampton

  • Education: STEM
  • Program

SV Robotics Academy is a project based learning program for bright and curious students! We help students find their love for learning, innovate and participate in numerous events year round! Read more...

  • Ages 6 to 16
  • Coed
  • from $160/month
Program openCamp Coed1606-165Markham, Ontario, Brampton, OntarioEducation: STEMSV Robotics AcademySV Robotics Academy is a project based learning program for bright and curious students! We help students find their love for learning, innovate and participate in numerous events year round! Markham, Ontario, Brampton, Ontario Program Coed

Artech Camps Canada   

Halifax; Online

  • Computer (multi)
  • Virtual Program, Day camp, Program

Artech is the Ultimate Creative Technology Program Center specializing in Game Design, Animation & Coding. Our virtual programs are fully interactive for kids 7 through teens and can reach kids anywhere on this planet! Read more...

  • Ages 7 to 19
  • Coed
  • from $150/week
Virtual Program, Day camp, Program openCamp Coed1507-196Halifax, Nova Scotia, Virtual Program, Computer (multi)Artech Camps CanadaArtech is the Ultimate Creative Technology Program Center specializing in Game Design, Animation & Coding. Our virtual programs are fully interactive for kids 7 through teens and can reach kids anywhere on this planet! Halifax, Nova Scotia, Virtual Program, Virtual Program, Day camp, Program Coed

Oxford Learning High Park   

Bloor West Village, Toronto

  • Education (multi)
  • Day camp, Program, Family camp

Oxford means a personalized learning experience for your child. Brain and Science Camps explore creative themes through engaging activities and field trips. Learning takes a fun turn. Our students are excited to learn! Read more...

  • Ages 4 to 12
  • Coed
  • from $100/week
Day camp, Program, Family camp openCamp Coed1004-127Bloor West Village, Toronto, OntarioEducation (multi)Oxford Learning High ParkOxford means a personalized learning experience for your child. Brain and Science Camps explore creative themes through engaging activities and field trips. Learning takes a fun turn. Our students are excited to learn! Bloor West Village, Toronto, Ontario Day camp, Program, Family camp Coed
  • Sport: Martial Arts
  • Virtual Program, Day camp, Program, Family camp

amadojo.net/brampton Read more...

  • Ages 4 to 16
  • Coed
  • from $150/week
Virtual Program, Day camp, Program, Family camp openCamp Coed1504-168Brampton, OntarioSport: Martial ArtsThe Academy of Martial Artsamadojo.net/brampton Brampton, Ontario Virtual Program, Day camp, Program, Family camp Coed

Block 8 Academy   

Port Moody

  • Traditional (multi activity)
  • Day camp, Program

Active, Creative, Mix of Indoor and Outdoor all in one camp! Encourage your children to socialize in person, or have them enjoy learning a new skill online with top notch voice instructors, debate, creative writing... Read more...

  • Ages 5 to 12
  • Coed
  • from $45/day
Day camp, Program openCamp Coed455-129Port Moody, British ColumbiaTraditional (multi activity) Block 8 AcademyActive, Creative, Mix of Indoor and Outdoor all in one camp! Encourage your children to socialize in person, or have them enjoy learning a new skill online with top notch voice instructors, debate, creative writing... Port Moody, British Columbia Day camp, Program Coed
  • Education (multi)
  • Day camp, Program

At Sylvan of Oakville, we have STEM Summer Camps, STEM Club, tutoring in JK-Gr. 12 math, reading, and writing, as well as SAT/ACT prep courses. Read more...

  • Ages 5 to 18
  • Coed
  • from $30/session
Day camp, Program Coed305-1810Oakville, OntarioEducation (multi)Sylvan Learning OakvilleAt Sylvan of Oakville, we have STEM Summer Camps, STEM Club, tutoring in JK-Gr. 12 math, reading, and writing, as well as SAT/ACT prep courses. Oakville, Ontario Day camp, Program Coed

Engineering For Kids York Region   

Aurora; Richmond Hill; Thornhill

  • Education: STEM
  • Day camp

A fun and educational STEM camp full of hands on engineering activities:Aerospace, Electrical engineering, Mechanical toy making, Marine Engineering, Civil Engineering, Robotics, Coding, Minecraft, 3D printing,... Read more...

  • Ages 4 to 14
  • Coed
  • from $180/week
Day camp openCamp Coed1804-1411Aurora, Ontario, Richmond Hill, Ontario, Thornhill, OntarioEducation: STEMEngineering For Kids York RegionA fun and educational STEM camp full of hands on engineering activities:Aerospace, Electrical engineering, Mechanical toy making, Marine Engineering, Civil Engineering, Robotics, Coding, Minecraft, 3D printing,... Aurora, Ontario, Richmond Hill, Ontario, Thornhill, Ontario Day camp Coed

Inspirely STEAM Education   

Online; Brampton

  • Science: STEAM
  • Virtual Program, Day camp, Program, Family camp

Premier after-school online STEAM Education for children age 6 to 15 years. They also host family bonding & parent networking events. Their creative STEAM Kits/Gifts are perfect to spend quality Family Time @HOME. Read more...

  • Ages 6 to 14
  • Coed
  • from $95/month
Virtual Program, Day camp, Program, Family camp openCamp Coed956-1412Virtual Program, , Brampton, OntarioScience: STEAMInspirely STEAM EducationPremier after-school online STEAM Education for children age 6 to 15 years. They also host family bonding & parent networking events. Their creative STEAM Kits/Gifts are perfect to spend quality Family Time @HOME. Virtual Program, , Brampton, Ontario Virtual Program, Day camp, Program, Family camp Coed
  • Traditional (multi activity)
  • Day camp, Program, Family camp

Providing therapy, after school programs, social groups and winter and summer camps.our programs and camps has won readers choice award in 2019 for grate service for kids with Autism,ADHD and Learning Disabilities Read more...

  • Ages 2 to 12
  • Coed, Girls, Boys
  • from $300/week
Day camp, Program, Family camp openCamp Coed, Girls, Boys3002-1213Vaughan, OntarioTraditional (multi activity) The House of Child DevelopmentProviding therapy, after school programs, social groups and winter and summer camps.our programs and camps has won readers choice award in 2019 for grate service for kids with Autism,ADHD and Learning Disabilities Vaughan, Ontario Day camp, Program, Family camp Coed, Girls, Boys

COOKSMART   

Mississauga; Bloor West Village, Toronto; Online

  • Arts : Cooking
  • Virtual Program, Day camp, Program, Family camp

Get the kids cooking and learning more life skills! Our program has gone virtual and the kids are loving cooking together to make tasty foods for their family. Easy meals, healthy snacks make this the best Zoom class. Read more...

  • Ages 4 to 99
  • Coed
  • from $5/session
Virtual Program, Day camp, Program, Family camp openCamp Coed54-9914Mississauga, Ontario, Bloor West Village, Toronto, Ontario, Virtual Program, Arts : CookingCOOKSMARTGet the kids cooking and learning more life skills! Our program has gone virtual and the kids are loving cooking together to make tasty foods for their family. Easy meals, healthy snacks make this the best Zoom class. Mississauga, Ontario, Bloor West Village, Toronto, Ontario, Virtual Program, Virtual Program, Day camp, Program, Family camp Coed

Camp Kodiak   

Parry Sound

  • Traditional (multi activity)
  • Overnight camp

Fun! Friends! Success! An integrated overnight summer camp for children & teens with and without LD, ADHD, and high-functioning ASD. We provide a SOCIAL SKILLS program, ACADEMIC program and 50+ activities. Read more...

  • Ages 6 to 18
  • Coed
  • from $1,527/week
Overnight camp openCamp Coed15276-1815Parry Sound, OntarioTraditional (multi activity) Camp KodiakFun! Friends! Success! An integrated overnight summer camp for children & teens with and without LD, ADHD, and high-functioning ASD. We provide a SOCIAL SKILLS program, ACADEMIC program and 50+ activities. Parry Sound, Ontario Overnight camp Coed

Behaviour Matters   

Lawrence Heights, Toronto

  • Education: Leadership
  • Program, Family camp

Focused on developing social skills, emotional/self-regulation and self confidence. Programs are interactive, skills, and strength-based, consisting of games, team building; role-plays, art, discussions, take-home tasks. Read more...

  • Ages 4 to 18
  • Coed, Girls, Boys
  • from $600/group
Program, Family camp openCamp Coed, Girls, Boys6004-1816Lawrence Heights, Toronto, OntarioEducation: LeadershipBehaviour MattersFocused on developing social skills, emotional/self-regulation and self confidence. Programs are interactive, skills, and strength-based, consisting of games, team building; role-plays, art, discussions, take-home tasks. Lawrence Heights, Toronto, Ontario Program, Family camp Coed, Girls, Boys
  • Academic/Tutoring: Instructor lead (group)
  • Day camp

The Cognitive Intensive Program strengthens the Symbol Relations cognitive function. Strengthening this area means a more powerful and positive capacity to understand, participate in and contribute to the world. Read more...

  • Ages 8 to 88
  • Coed
  • from $5,000/program
Day camp openCamp Coed50008-8817South Hill, Toronto, OntarioAcademic/Tutoring: Instructor lead (group)Arrowsmith School Cognitive Intensive ProgramThe Cognitive Intensive Program strengthens the Symbol Relations cognitive function. Strengthening this area means a more powerful and positive capacity to understand, participate in and contribute to the world. South Hill, Toronto, Ontario Day camp Coed

MakerKids   

Leaside, Toronto; Bloor West Village, Toronto

  • Computer (multi)
  • Day camp, Program

Empowering the makers of tomorrow! MakerKids specializes in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs with highly trained instructors. We run camps, after-school programs, private classes and more. Read more...

  • Ages 6 to 13
  • Coed
  • from $1/week
Day camp, Program openCamp Coed16-1318Leaside, Toronto, Ontario, Bloor West Village, Toronto, OntarioComputer (multi)MakerKidsEmpowering the makers of tomorrow! MakerKids specializes in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs with highly trained instructors. We run camps, after-school programs, private classes and more. Leaside, Toronto, Ontario, Bloor West Village, Toronto, Ontario Day camp, Program Coed

BrainTech Robotics   

Harbourfront, Toronto; Online

  • Computer : Computer programming (multi)
  • Virtual Program, Family camp

BrainTech Robotics offers experiential camp & year round STEM based virtual/augmented reality programs for youth 7-17 years of age to develop skills in technology, robotics, coding and virtual / augmented reality. Read more...

  • Ages 7 to 17
  • Coed
  • Cost Varies
Virtual Program, Family camp openCamp Coed07-1719Harbourfront, Toronto, Ontario, Virtual Program, Computer : Computer programming (multi)BrainTech RoboticsBrainTech Robotics offers experiential camp & year round STEM based virtual/augmented reality programs for youth 7-17 years of age to develop skills in technology, robotics, coding and virtual / augmented reality. Harbourfront, Toronto, Ontario, Virtual Program, Virtual Program, Family camp Coed

Mayfair Clubs   

Markham; Bathurst Manor/Clanton Park, Toronto; Leslieville, Toronto; Online

  • Traditional (multi activity)
  • Virtual Program, Day camp, Program

Mayfair Clubs offers a wide variety of Sports Day Camps at all of our locations for ages 2-17. We specialize in tennis & squash programming but also offer swimming, multi-sport and even camps for young toddlers. Read more...

  • Ages 2 to 16
  • Coed
  • from $70/day
Virtual Program, Day camp, Program openCamp Coed702-1620Markham, Ontario, Bathurst Manor/Clanton Park, Toronto, , Leslieville, Toronto, Ontario, Markham, , Virtual Program, Traditional (multi activity) Mayfair ClubsMayfair Clubs offers a wide variety of Sports Day Camps at all of our locations for ages 2-17. We specialize in tennis & squash programming but also offer swimming, multi-sport and even camps for young toddlers. Markham, Ontario, Bathurst Manor/Clanton Park, Toronto, , Leslieville, Toronto, Ontario, Markham, , Virtual Program, Virtual Program, Day camp, Program Coed
  • Sport: Basketball
  • Day camp, Program, Family camp

AlevelUp Basketball Training is packed with skill training specialist to inspire all year round. Whether you are beginner or advanced player , ages 4 - 18 yrs old, we will take your game A-level-Up!! Be there. Read more...

  • Ages 4 to 18
  • Coed
  • from $100/session
Day camp, Program, Family camp Coed1004-1821Vaughan, Ontario, Ajax, Ontario, Oakville, OntarioSport: BasketballAlevelUp Basketball TrainingAlevelUp Basketball Training is packed with skill training specialist to inspire all year round. Whether you are beginner or advanced player , ages 4 - 18 yrs old, we will take your game A-level-Up!! Be there. Vaughan, Ontario, Ajax, Ontario, Oakville, Ontario Day camp, Program, Family camp Coed

Animation Portfolio Workshop Boot Camp   

Hillcrest Village, Toronto

  • Visual arts: Drawing
  • Day camp, Program

A week long workshop that introduces hand-drawn animation and character design. Read more...

  • Ages 14 to 25
  • Coed
  • from $565/session
Day camp, Program openCamp Coed56514-2522Hillcrest Village, Toronto, OntarioVisual arts: DrawingAnimation Portfolio Workshop Boot CampA week long workshop that introduces hand-drawn animation and character design. Hillcrest Village, Toronto, Ontario Day camp, Program Coed

Mi-A-Kon-Da   

Parry Sound; Hamilton

  • Traditional (multi activity)
  • Overnight camp

A traditional, all-girls summer camp with various outdoor activities including sailing, wilderness trips, arts and crafts activities and more. Offering 1, 2 or 4 week sessions or an introductory weekend. Read more...

  • Ages 6 to 16
  • Girls
  • from $2,240/2 weeks
Overnight camp openCamp Girls22406-1623Parry Sound, Ontario, Hamilton, OntarioTraditional (multi activity) Mi-A-Kon-DaA traditional, all-girls summer camp with various outdoor activities including sailing, wilderness trips, arts and crafts activities and more. Offering 1, 2 or 4 week sessions or an introductory weekend. Parry Sound, Ontario, Hamilton, Ontario Overnight camp Girls

Code Ninjas Meadowvale   

Mississauga

  • Computer (multi)
  • Day camp, Program, Family camp

When school is out, fun and learning are in at Code Ninjas camps! If your kids are into MineCraft, Roblox, robotics, coding, or gaming, Code Ninjas is the place to be! Space is limited – reserve your spot today! Read more...

  • Ages 5 to 14
  • Coed
  • from $150/month
Day camp, Program, Family camp openCamp Coed1505-1424Mississauga, OntarioComputer (multi)Code Ninjas MeadowvaleWhen school is out, fun and learning are in at Code Ninjas camps! If your kids are into MineCraft, Roblox, robotics, coding, or gaming, Code Ninjas is the place to be! Space is limited – reserve your spot today! Mississauga, Ontario Day camp, Program, Family camp Coed

LOGIMIX   

Mississauga; Online

  • Education: Academic/Tutoring
  • Virtual Program, Day camp, Program

LOGIMIX offers enhanced and regular math, science, physics and chemistry programs all year long. Prepare students for SSAT, SAT tests, Pre-U and University levels. Dedicated help with IB math and science. Read more...

  • Ages 10 to 20
  • Coed
  • from $40/week
Virtual Program, Day camp, Program openCamp Coed4010-2025Mississauga, Ontario, Virtual Program, Education: Academic/TutoringLOGIMIXLOGIMIX offers enhanced and regular math, science, physics and chemistry programs all year long. Prepare students for SSAT, SAT tests, Pre-U and University levels. Dedicated help with IB math and science. Mississauga, Ontario, Virtual Program, Virtual Program, Day camp, Program Coed

Reidmount Discovery School   

Vancouver; Mississauga; Brampton; Burlington; Ajax

  • Education (multi)
  • Virtual Program, Day camp, Program

Virtual Saturday classes, for all students who needs to excel, enhance or accelerate their academics. Our teachers will work to improve your child's grades from JK-Grade 12 for Math, English, Science, Writing and Coding. Read more...

  • Ages 3 to 18
  • Coed
  • from $600/program
Virtual Program, Day camp, Program openCamp Coed6003-1826Vancouver, , Mississauga, Ontario, Brampton, Ontario, Burlington, Ontario, Ajax, Education (multi)Reidmount Discovery SchoolVirtual Saturday classes, for all students who needs to excel, enhance or accelerate their academics. Our teachers will work to improve your child's grades from JK-Grade 12 for Math, English, Science, Writing and Coding. Vancouver, , Mississauga, Ontario, Brampton, Ontario, Burlington, Ontario, Ajax, Virtual Program, Day camp, Program Coed

Defining and understanding self-regulation

Self-regulation is “a broad set of skills that allows kids to bounce back from strong emotions ... and manage difficulty in their day-to-day lives,” in Una Malcolm’s definition. Malcolm, a licensed teacher with the Ontario College of Teachers who runs Bright Light Learners, runs a private support firm in Toronto for students with learning exceptionalities.

“Oftentimes self-regulation and self-control are used interchangeably, but that might not be the most precise definition of self-regulation,” she says. “Think of self-regulation as a set of skills that allows a child to manage frustration, disappointment, adversity ... any sort of big, strong emotion. Self-regulation allows a child to return back to a normal set point.”

As Director of Bright Light Learners, she works with many students with complex needs, and understands first-hand the value and importance of developing self-regulation. 

“Think of a set point on a thermostat,” she says. “A thermostat is constantly monitoring the temperature … and once it reaches a certain point, then [it] either heats or cools the house.”  Kids with strong regulation skills “are monitoring how they’re feeling. If there’s a differential or a gap there, they’ll use strategies to come back to normal.” 

Self-regulation is a very important part of everyday life. As she says, “no matter what kids are doing, they need to have self-regulation skills.”

How to develop self-regulation

Children aren’t born with these skills but they are born with the ability to develop them. Malcolm uses the metaphor of “an upstairs/downstairs brain” to explain a child’s process of developing self-regulation. 

“The downstairs brain is related to a lot of core, base functions like heart rate, stress response and fight or flight,” she says. The downstairs brain (a suitable metaphor for the limbic system) kicks into gear in response to danger; it triggers strong emotions. Malcolm explains it's typical for children to often respond with strong emotion because the upstairs brain takes longer to develop. “The upstairs brain (analagous to the cerebral cortex) allows kids to plan, to empathize, to take on another perspective, to problem solve.” The upstairs brain regulates behaviour but it develops faster with help from external environments and other people. 

Social environments like camp can be critical for supporting the development of self-regulation in children. It “puts kids in [situations] where they need to navigate these issues”, she says. “They're having to manage conflict with peers, adapt to change [and] exhibit cognitive flexibility when they change their schedule.” In a structured environment like camp, “with gentle coaching with peers, teachers, counsellors … kids [learn] to respond in an appropriate way and [this paves] the way for future success.”

How does camp accelerate the development of self-regulation? 

Camp creates a responsive, welcoming atmosphere and teaches self-regulation guidelines to children. This might include learning to let someone speak first, recalling attention to a task when distractions are present, and learning to control one’s emotions in an overwhelming situation. Malcolm emphasizes that “the very nature of a social environment like camp [presents] opportunities for kids to develop and practice self-regulation skills.” 

In these environments, children learn on their own how to cope with upsetting changes to their routine (i.e., a conflict with a peer or getting a question wrong on a test). When exposed to these challenges, they begin to learn strategies for self-regulation that help them manage emotions and remain focused on their duties. 

The child internalizes these regulating strategies until they become habit. At that point, they might even begin to instruct their peers in self-regulation. However, it’s important to keep in mind that children can’t develop self-regulation habits overnight. It’s a slow and long process. but with exposure and support, these habits will develop over time. 

Kids who can cope with changes to their environment and can manage cognitive flexibility and self-regulate are overwhelmingly kids who are more able to do well in school, at home, with friends, parents or families.

What are the benefits of self-regulation?

Malcolm highlights many short-term and long-term benefits of self-regulation skills. 

Current research indicates that “kids who can cope with changes to their environment and can manage cognitive flexibility and self-regulate are overwhelmingly kids who are more able to do well in school, at home, with friends, parents or families,” Malcolm says. This research suggests that “self-regulation skills are hugely predictive of mental health, achievement and success.”

Self-regulation in action: meet Erick

Erick, a camper from COOKSMART camp, understands self-regulation as “not making a big deal out of everything, keeping my stress in and not letting my stress out by controlling myself.” 

He believes that self-regulation will benefit him the rest of his life because it will, “balance [his] emotions towards [his] future jobs, friends and family.”

He believes that COOKSMART camp has helped him develop self-regulation skills. 

“At the COOKSMART camp,” he says, “every time I made a [cooking mistake], I would ask the teacher to redo that step so I could actually understand.” 

Furthermore, he's learning self-regulation while being homeschooled by his mom, Emilia. “In homeschooling, every time I didn’t get an answer, [my mom] would say for me to find the answer, fix what I did and look over the mistake that I did, so I don’t get mad at myself.” He understands that self-regulation involves managing strong emotions and staying focused on the task at hand. 

How will self-regulation help my child in the future?

Self-regulation is commonly developed during the toddler years, though the habits of self-regulation continue to develop past adulthood. 

When kids are developing self-regulation skills, Malcolm says, “any instances where they have to negotiate or bounce back from big emotions...creates neural pathways that allows them to use those skills in the future. That sets them on a path to success as adults.” 

Research has proven that individuals with strong self-regulation handle their emotions and stress levels better, expand their intellectual capabilities and engage in less problematic behaviors, as opposed to those who don't develop self-regulation. This critical tool can help children with academic success, emotion control, decision-making skills, leadership habits, overall mental health, and relationships with others for years to come. 

Overall, children with self-regulated behavioral habits are more likely to:

  • Follow directions and exercise discipline
  • Keep focus on tasks at hand 
  • Control emotions in exciting or stressful settings
  • Develop organizational skills 
  • Make adjustments to be in line with a goal
  • Constructively self-criticize performance 
  • Reflect on the outcome of a task
  • Teach self-regulation habits to other children

“[Self-regulation skills] allow us to maintain healthy relationships and as human beings, healthy relationships are a huge part of living”, Malcolm explains. “Self-regulation is essential to being human. It’s not just that it supports in one key zone - it's broadly predictive of success and health.”

Want Your Child to Enhance Their Self-Regulation Skills?

Camps are advantageous to developing and enhancing self-regulation skills. The experience encourages children to work with others and follow rules mindfully, while it exposes them to new challenges and environments. At camp, children learn personal strategies for managing behaviour and emotions in a way that works for them, while they are guided and supported by their camp leaders. 



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