Last week, we worked on identifying the big emotions. Now, what do we do with them?
Introducing: ✨ the calm down corner ✨
It’s essential to help children identify the emotions, but also their triggers and teach them how to deal with those situations appropriately. We want our children to learn to manage their emotions when they are upset so that they can participate, enjoy, and complete activities that are outlined for them in school, in society, and at home.
We want to help kids identify those situations so that they understand the reasons behind their discomfort – understanding their feelings makes coping with those feelings easier.
The first step is to validate those feelings, even the really big ones that turn to meltdowns. While the response to the feeling may not be valid, the way they feel is.
Next, is giving them the tools to respond appropriately. By teaching a child to recognize how they feel and to understand what they need, they will be empowered to make a choice and develop self-regulation skills in action. This is a powerful process and one we should work on teaching and implementing in our homes and classrooms.
We want them to be able to look for help at the initial stages before things have turned into a full-blown drama.
As their parent, it is fairly clear on what events or situations trigger those outbursts. But what we are really going to focus on here is how to help them identify their own anger triggers and how to deal with those situations and events.
When it comes to little ones, some of the common triggers are:
stopping an activity that they enjoy
Sense of injustice
Before kids can begin to self-regulate independently, they first need to learn self-awareness. They need to be able to recognize how they are feeling and to name those emotions. They need to say to themselves, “Hey, I am feeling … right now. I need to calm down!”
But how do we help them do this? We start with teaching them about their emotions. Then, talk about different emotions, when we feel that way, and what that emotion looks and feels like. We explain to kids that their brain controls how they feel at different times each day. Once kids can recognize and name the emotions they feel and understand that it is their brain that controls them, they begin to feel more in control and able to predict what their needs will be at different times.
We have two free tools for identifying emotions available in our last blog post to help!
Creating a safe place for kids to go when they feel these big emotions coming helps them know it’s okay to feel this way.
Let’s build our Calm Down Corner together.
What you need:
Box or basket
Inspirus My Feelings Chart Free Download
Inspirus Calming Strategies Poster Free Printable
Inspirus Calm Down Cards Free Download
Extra: add a tent if you’ve got one!
What goes in the calm down kit:
Crayons & coloring or sketchbook
Stress ball or something to squeeze
Sensory bottle with glitter
Inspirus Calm Down Cards
Inspirus My Feelings Chart
Using books as mentor texts for your lessons on self-regulation and calming is no different. These books will help you teach children new ways of thinking and acting. Books can help kids see that it is okay to be who they are and to not always be in control and also teach kids that it is okay to feel overwhelming emotions. But most importantly, books teach kids new ways of thinking. Reading helps create a calm and connected environment.
By creating a box of calming tools, we let kids know that they matter and we care about their emotional well-being. We are letting them know that it is okay to feel the way they feel and to need to step away, take a break, and get some help.
Check out our Calm Down Kit and Calm Down Corner on Instagram!
Follow us and tag when you make your own Calm Down Corner!
Get your FREE resources for your Calm Down Corner here: