During the 2015-2016 I had the fabulous opportunity to collaborate with my colleagues Tannis Foulds, Ashley Stenerson, and Lynda Hornby. The four of us were all feeling a strong need to help our students develop their abilities to regulate themselves. After all the better our students can self-regulate themselves then more learning can happen in a calmer and more focused and respectful environment. At the end of the year, based on the research that we had done and the experiences we had in our classrooms, we developed the list below.
Top strategies for anyone who lives with, hangs with, or works with children to help children learn to regulate themselves:
-set boundaries/limits for children
-clear expectations for behavior
-help kids figure out why they are doing what they are doing
-help them understand the consequences of their behavior
-help them come up with alternative behaviors
-model the language i.e. how are you feeling?
-use “when...then..” consequences and following through consistently
-teach mindfulness, i.e. chime, breathing
-model our own self-regulation strategies i.e. self talk - “well I’ve done all I can do now so I just need to stop worrying”
-self-sufficiency - teach kids to do things for themselves - age-appropriate responsibilities
-plan ahead and help children understand what is coming up that day, or that week
-encourage well-rounded interests while supporting strengths-teach/train kids to focus for age-appropriate time lengths