Healthy Schools: emotion regulation
Emotion regulation is a life skill that takes time and patience for children to develop. These resources are provided by the Mental Health NHS Trust and the Anchor Approach and are based on J. Gottman’s research about co-regulation and emotion coaching.
Understanding emotion regulation
Emotion regulation is a life skill that takes time and patience for children to develop. It can be acquired in a healthy manner if led by empathetic, kind adults. The following resources will help pass this on.
- Dan Siegal, clinical professor of psychiatry, describes the response to stress and need to regulate our emotions in terms of the ‘Window of Tolerance’, as demonstrated in the video below, and this 1-page model: Engaging our Thinking Brain - Recognising Panic (PDF, 183KB)
- This 1-page resource presents Dan Siegal’s Hand Model of the Brain - helpful to make sense of the science behind the stress response:
- This 30-minute Anchor Approach training video for school staff helps to understand emotion regulation better and support behaviour change:
- Understand the different zones of feeling and energy levels in this 7-page document:
- This series of videos created by Trailblazer focuses on a wide range of areas related to emotions and wellbeing.
Anchor Approach tools
- This document outlines how to ensure our universal needs are consistently well met to increase our ability to regulate our emotions:
- This 2-page resource helps adults interpret what children do and say and suggests some strategies to try:
- If you need a tool for primary children to remain calm in the classroom use this 1-page calm plan inspired by the Anna Freud Centre. It encourages pupils to develop coping mechanisms and self-awareness:
- We have also created a version for secondary students:
- This 3-page fact sheet is a useful tool to help children and young people express feelings and needs:
- This printable feeling wheel (external link) will help them develop the language and self-awareness necessary for emotional regulation.
Feeling better tools
- These simple tips from the Early Intervention Foundation (EIF) for managing difficult emotions:
- The EIF has also developed a list of exercises to help with regulating children’s and young people’s emotions:
- Use this 1-page resource to create a classroom poster with pupils, using these suggestions or asking them to come up with their own:
- These tips support the development of positive relationship skills.
- Share this 2- page factsheet and tips to encourage families to co-regulate.
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