At the end of the article, he presents a very simple framework for thinking about how families can help engage in co-regulating experiences with their children. It is worth a read. Here is an excerpt:
Costa developed an acronym called A.G.I.L.E. that provides guidance on what constitutes a co-regulating response when the child is distressed. The guidance can help pediatric health professionals advise parents on what to keep in mind as they engage in co-regulating responses.
The AGILE Approach to Co-regulating Responses advises parents to pay close attention to their:
- A - Affect: how your tone and expressions convey your emotions. In times of stress, is your affect loving, supportive, and soothing?
- G - Gesture: Facial expressions, hand gestures, body moment, posturing and pacing all reflect your emotions and are felt by a child during your interactions.
- I - Intonation: Modulating the tone of your voice helps conveys affect and social/emotional meaning. This is “felt” and “understood” long before words. And even after language develops, affect, gestures and intonation convey the genuine meaning of the interpersonal exchange. This communication is stronger than words.
- L - Latency (Wait): Wait and give the child time to take in your gestures and intonations. Co-regulation requires patience.
- E - Engagement: Before you continue, be sure you have engaged the child. Your baby’s facial expressions, sounds and body language will tell you if they are engaged.