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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET 20 CHAPTER 1 their caregivers (National Research Council and Institute of Medicine 2000; National Scientific Council on the Developing Child 2009). These calming and responsive reactions of caregivers over time help strengthen children’s ability to regulate their own emotions. By the time they reach preschool, children are then more adept at understanding, expressing, and talking about emotions in a much more complex way (National Scien- tific Council on the Developing Child 2004a). Caregiver responsiveness helps children begin to understand complex emotions and also use language to describe their feelings. In fact, children of caregivers who provide consis- tent emotional stability tend to be much more able to express their emotions appropriately later in childhood (National Scientific Council on the Devel- oping Child 2004a). Children more capable of emotional understanding and control tend to be more cooperative and empathetic with peers, have a stronger sense of conscience, and have more skilled ways of handling conflict (National Research Council and Institute of Medicine 2000; National Scien- tific Council on the Developing Child 2004a). As they learn about emotion through interactions with responsive care- givers, children begin to develop self-regulation, or the ability to control behaviors in appropriate ways. The ability to regulate emotions and behaviors is crucial for success in structured environments such as school. The foun- dations of self-regulation are developed early through the serve-and-return interactions that young babies experience with their caregivers. The develop- ment of self-regulation continues throughout early life as children learn how to appropriately understand and express emotions and control their behav- iors (National Research Council and Institute of Medicine 2000). Young children learn these skills of self-regulation through these coaching inter­ actions with caregivers who are consistently responsive to their physical and emotional needs. The seeds of the emotions and behaviors children express later in life are cultivated through these early interactions with adults. Building Self-Concept In the mid-twentieth century, psychologist Lev Vygotsky proposed that how caregivers supported their children’s learning was an important factor in development. Caregivers who engage with their children in challenging COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL