Self Regulation Strategies for Kids | Angel Bear Yoga

Self Regulation Strategies for Kids

by | Feb 4, 2022 | Character Building, Social and Emotional Learning

Self-regulation means being in control of your emotions and behavior in any type of situation. It includes managing your thoughts, impulses, and feelings. It also includes calming yourself down and managing your emotions. It is how you control your mind, feelings, and in turn your actions and movements. It is a whole set of essential skills to teach your children. 

Benefits of Self-Regulation for Kids

  1. Your children will sit, listen and learn in the classroom without any fuss. 
  2. Your children are well-behaved as they can control their impulses.
  3. They make friends easily as they learn to take turns, share things, and express emotions.  
  4. Your children become more independent as they learn to tackle new situations maturely.  
  5. Your children become more goal-oriented. They are not distracted as they learn to manage their emotions well. 

Self-Regulation Strategies to Teach Your Children

Let’s look at some of the self-regulation skills to teach your children. By learning these life skills, your kids will manage themselves better overall. They tackle difficult situations with ease. They solve their problems with a calm mind. 

1. Point Out the Feelings 

This is a great emotion regulation technique for your kids. Teach them to give a name to their feelings. It helps them manage their feelings and use the right tools and help to tackle them. Work with your kids to create a list of different emotions and feelings. Ask your kids to match their physical reactions to their emotions. It can be rapid heartbeats, tight muscles, or tears flowing. You can also create a feeling or emotion meter. This will help your kids identify the intensity of emotions they are feeling at the moment. Next, help them with the self-regulated learning strategies given below.

2. The Big Pause

Teach your kids to pause before reacting to their emotions. Ask them to imagine a pause button for their feelings just like on videos and audio.  Ask them to press it before reacting to any extreme emotions. Your kids learn to put space between their emotions and the reactions that follow. This coping skill teaches your children self-control and prevents tantrums. 

Also Read : Ways to Self-Discipline Your Child

3. Teach Your Kids Self-care

Self-care leads to self-regulation. Self-care keeps your body healthy. In the same way, managing emotions keeps your mind healthy. Teach your kids to get dressed themselves. Let them do small chores. These can be dusting their rooms and arranging books. Next, help your kids create a list of things that make them happy. Have a heart-to-heart talk with them. You can play, sing or dance together if that’s what your kids want. Also, devise ways to connect and teach self-care to your children. 

4. Show Your Children a Higher-goal

Self-regulated learning strategies include teaching your children to look for a higher goal. Teach them to control their impulses to achieve something better. These have to be simple for kids. E.g., not snatching a toy from their friends. Taking turns while playing with their toys. The goal here is to get along with their friends. Let’s take another example. Being quiet during story-time. The goal here is to listen to the full story. Your kids can ask questions afterward. In this way, your kids learn to take turns and wait. These are the building blocks on their path to self-regulation. 

5. Deep Rainbow Breathing

Teach your kids to practice deep rainbow breathing. It will help them calm down and bring their heart rate to normal. This in turn reduces their stress levels and anxiety. Ask your children to copy your poses as given below.

  1. Face your kids. Keep your hands at your sides.
  2. Breath in and slowly raise your hands together till your palms touch overhead. 
  3. Tell your kids to imagine that they are painting a rainbow with their fingertips.
  4. Next breath out and slowly lower your hands to your sides. Tell your kids again to imagine they are painting a rainbow with their fingertips. 
  5. Ask your children to do these poses whenever they feel angry or stressed out. Tell them to repeat it till they calm down.

The slow rainbow pose acts as a timer for your children. Deep breathing soothes them. Imagining a colorful rainbow also lowers their anxiety and stress levels. The result is a calm and composed child. 

6. The Blowing Bubble Technique

This is a simpler version of the rainbow technique. It’s best done when doing a rainbow pose is not possible. It can be done in a public place easily without drawing attention. Here instead of the rainbow, ask your kids to imagine they are blowing bubbles. But big bubbles will only form with deep and slow breaths. Fast and shallow breaths on the other hand will burst the bubbles. This gets the same result as the rainbow pose above. 

7. Singing Vowel Sounds

Singing vowel sounds are a type of yoga breathing pose. Choose an open vowel sound like “ohhhh” or “aahhh”. Let your children take a deep breath and sing the vowel sound while exhaling. Ask your kids to breathe out fully singing the vowel sound. This will soothe their nervous system and calm them.  

8. Sensory Diversion

Cooling down with the help of sensory diversion is a good emotional regulation technique. These help calm your children quickly. These are simple tasks like drinking a cold glass of water. Or squeezing stress balls, and dipping hands in cold water. Other tasks include smelling flowers or mellow scents like lavender and bergamot. Others include eating fruit, yogurt, or having a Popsicle. During times of emotional overload, ask them to focus on the taste of the fruit & yogurt or the coldness of the water, and so on. It will help your kids take control of their feelings and reset their emotions. 

9. Venting Emotions Through Body Motions

When emotions are taking over, help your kids vent and release them through body motions. If they are angry, ask them to roar like an angry lion. If they feel like hitting someone, ask them to stomp like an elephant. If they are sad, they can curl up like a snake. Then ask them what animal they feel like when they are calm and happy. Maybe they want to prance around like a horse. Or hop and flit around like birds. Ask them to do these happy steps now. This task shifts their emotions from angry and sad to a happy and calm state.

10. Smiling Contest

During times of emotional overload, use this self-regulation strategy. Have a smiling contest with your kids. See who can keep smiling for the longest. The body affects the mind. Even if your kids are upset and frowning, smiling will shift their emotions to a positive state. Teach them to use this to regulate themselves in the future.  

Also Read : How to Strengthen Your Child’s Emotional Intelligence

11. Tense and Release

This is a tried and tested technique to take control of your feelings and emotions. Ask your kids to inhale deeply and clench their fists with all their power. Then ask them to release the fists and exhale. Ask them to repeat this process with other body parts like arms, legs, torso, and even eyes. This will relax their body and bring their heartbeat to normal. It also reduces cortisol levels and brings anxiety levels down. 

12. Choices and Options 

Give your older kids choices and options. Ask them to plan their day. Ask them to make decisions. These should be simple at first. It can be a choice between an apple and a banana. It can be the choice of shoes or clothes to wear. It can be a choice of playing football or cricket. With time they raise their options. Your kids will be able to make good decisions this way. 

13. Self-Regulated Learning Strategies Through Games 

Play games with your children that teach self-regulation. They will have fun learning and practicing these games. Your children will learn to control their impulses to reach a higher goal. Here the higher goal means winning the game. These are the games that teach your kids about self-control and regulation. Play games like “Simon Says”, “Slow down speed up” and “Red light green light”. You can also play card and board games with your kids. Your kids learn essential skills like taking turns, playing by rules, focusing, and impulse control. 

14. Music

Listening to soothing music is also a self-regulation strategy for your children. Listening to their favorite songs and taking deep breaths relax the children. It distracts them and lowers their stress and anxiety levels. 

Conclusion

Self-regulation strategies help your kids get a healthy body, mind, and spirit. It allows them to control and express their emotions in a positive way. These are essential life skills that help your children make good friends and relations. It helps them learn, solve problems and enjoy their lives to the fullest.

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Bring out the angel in your child

Self Regulation Strategies for Kids

by | Feb 4, 2022 | Character Building, Social and Emotional Learning

Self-regulation means being in control of your emotions and behavior in any type of situation. It includes managing your thoughts, impulses, and feelings. It also includes calming yourself down and managing your emotions. It is how you control your mind, feelings, and in turn your actions and movements. It is a whole set of essential skills to teach your children. 

Benefits of Self-Regulation for Kids

  1. Your children will sit, listen and learn in the classroom without any fuss. 
  2. Your children are well-behaved as they can control their impulses.
  3. They make friends easily as they learn to take turns, share things, and express emotions.  
  4. Your children become more independent as they learn to tackle new situations maturely.  
  5. Your children become more goal-oriented. They are not distracted as they learn to manage their emotions well. 

Self-Regulation Strategies to Teach Your Children

Let’s look at some of the self-regulation skills to teach your children. By learning these life skills, your kids will manage themselves better overall. They tackle difficult situations with ease. They solve their problems with a calm mind. 

1. Point Out the Feelings 

This is a great emotion regulation technique for your kids. Teach them to give a name to their feelings. It helps them manage their feelings and use the right tools and help to tackle them. Work with your kids to create a list of different emotions and feelings. Ask your kids to match their physical reactions to their emotions. It can be rapid heartbeats, tight muscles, or tears flowing. You can also create a feeling or emotion meter. This will help your kids identify the intensity of emotions they are feeling at the moment. Next, help them with the self-regulated learning strategies given below.

2. The Big Pause

Teach your kids to pause before reacting to their emotions. Ask them to imagine a pause button for their feelings just like on videos and audio.  Ask them to press it before reacting to any extreme emotions. Your kids learn to put space between their emotions and the reactions that follow. This coping skill teaches your children self-control and prevents tantrums. 

Also Read : Ways to Self-Discipline Your Child

3. Teach Your Kids Self-care

Self-care leads to self-regulation. Self-care keeps your body healthy. In the same way, managing emotions keeps your mind healthy. Teach your kids to get dressed themselves. Let them do small chores. These can be dusting their rooms and arranging books. Next, help your kids create a list of things that make them happy. Have a heart-to-heart talk with them. You can play, sing or dance together if that’s what your kids want. Also, devise ways to connect and teach self-care to your children. 

4. Show Your Children a Higher-goal

Self-regulated learning strategies include teaching your children to look for a higher goal. Teach them to control their impulses to achieve something better. These have to be simple for kids. E.g., not snatching a toy from their friends. Taking turns while playing with their toys. The goal here is to get along with their friends. Let’s take another example. Being quiet during story-time. The goal here is to listen to the full story. Your kids can ask questions afterward. In this way, your kids learn to take turns and wait. These are the building blocks on their path to self-regulation. 

5. Deep Rainbow Breathing

Teach your kids to practice deep rainbow breathing. It will help them calm down and bring their heart rate to normal. This in turn reduces their stress levels and anxiety. Ask your children to copy your poses as given below.

  1. Face your kids. Keep your hands at your sides.
  2. Breath in and slowly raise your hands together till your palms touch overhead. 
  3. Tell your kids to imagine that they are painting a rainbow with their fingertips.
  4. Next breath out and slowly lower your hands to your sides. Tell your kids again to imagine they are painting a rainbow with their fingertips. 
  5. Ask your children to do these poses whenever they feel angry or stressed out. Tell them to repeat it till they calm down.

The slow rainbow pose acts as a timer for your children. Deep breathing soothes them. Imagining a colorful rainbow also lowers their anxiety and stress levels. The result is a calm and composed child. 

6. The Blowing Bubble Technique

This is a simpler version of the rainbow technique. It’s best done when doing a rainbow pose is not possible. It can be done in a public place easily without drawing attention. Here instead of the rainbow, ask your kids to imagine they are blowing bubbles. But big bubbles will only form with deep and slow breaths. Fast and shallow breaths on the other hand will burst the bubbles. This gets the same result as the rainbow pose above. 

7. Singing Vowel Sounds

Singing vowel sounds are a type of yoga breathing pose. Choose an open vowel sound like “ohhhh” or “aahhh”. Let your children take a deep breath and sing the vowel sound while exhaling. Ask your kids to breathe out fully singing the vowel sound. This will soothe their nervous system and calm them.  

8. Sensory Diversion

Cooling down with the help of sensory diversion is a good emotional regulation technique. These help calm your children quickly. These are simple tasks like drinking a cold glass of water. Or squeezing stress balls, and dipping hands in cold water. Other tasks include smelling flowers or mellow scents like lavender and bergamot. Others include eating fruit, yogurt, or having a Popsicle. During times of emotional overload, ask them to focus on the taste of the fruit & yogurt or the coldness of the water, and so on. It will help your kids take control of their feelings and reset their emotions. 

9. Venting Emotions Through Body Motions

When emotions are taking over, help your kids vent and release them through body motions. If they are angry, ask them to roar like an angry lion. If they feel like hitting someone, ask them to stomp like an elephant. If they are sad, they can curl up like a snake. Then ask them what animal they feel like when they are calm and happy. Maybe they want to prance around like a horse. Or hop and flit around like birds. Ask them to do these happy steps now. This task shifts their emotions from angry and sad to a happy and calm state.

10. Smiling Contest

During times of emotional overload, use this self-regulation strategy. Have a smiling contest with your kids. See who can keep smiling for the longest. The body affects the mind. Even if your kids are upset and frowning, smiling will shift their emotions to a positive state. Teach them to use this to regulate themselves in the future.  

Also Read : How to Strengthen Your Child’s Emotional Intelligence

11. Tense and Release

This is a tried and tested technique to take control of your feelings and emotions. Ask your kids to inhale deeply and clench their fists with all their power. Then ask them to release the fists and exhale. Ask them to repeat this process with other body parts like arms, legs, torso, and even eyes. This will relax their body and bring their heartbeat to normal. It also reduces cortisol levels and brings anxiety levels down. 

12. Choices and Options 

Give your older kids choices and options. Ask them to plan their day. Ask them to make decisions. These should be simple at first. It can be a choice between an apple and a banana. It can be the choice of shoes or clothes to wear. It can be a choice of playing football or cricket. With time they raise their options. Your kids will be able to make good decisions this way. 

13. Self-Regulated Learning Strategies Through Games 

Play games with your children that teach self-regulation. They will have fun learning and practicing these games. Your children will learn to control their impulses to reach a higher goal. Here the higher goal means winning the game. These are the games that teach your kids about self-control and regulation. Play games like “Simon Says”, “Slow down speed up” and “Red light green light”. You can also play card and board games with your kids. Your kids learn essential skills like taking turns, playing by rules, focusing, and impulse control. 

14. Music

Listening to soothing music is also a self-regulation strategy for your children. Listening to their favorite songs and taking deep breaths relax the children. It distracts them and lowers their stress and anxiety levels. 

Conclusion

Self-regulation strategies help your kids get a healthy body, mind, and spirit. It allows them to control and express their emotions in a positive way. These are essential life skills that help your children make good friends and relations. It helps them learn, solve problems and enjoy their lives to the fullest.

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