In our last post, The Science of Success: Help Children Succeed At School, we discussed how important it is to teach children Non-Cognitive Skills. Non-Cognitive Skills include:
These Non-Cognitive Skills enable children to handle stress and manage strong emotions. More important, they may be a better predictor of academic success than IQ.
How can we help children develop these skills? In this week’s post we will discuss how we can help children develop the self-control needed for emotional regulation.
Dr. Oren Meyers of A+ Solutions, says that children can learn how to manage their feelings. Children will cry, scream, yell, and have tantrums often because their feelings are so overwhelming for them. The same can happen with adults. Children need to learn how to manage their feelings and express them in healthy ways.
Many therapists begin will use a feeling chart with children like the one pictured here to help clients begin the process of labeling their feelings:
Discussing feelings with a young client is a great way to expand children’s vocabulary and teach them the emotional language that they need to manage their feelings.
Here are examples of how you can discuss feelings with your child, helping them learn self-control:
Show a feelings chart to the child.
• Ask your child if they understand the words for the feelings on the chart.
• Work together to define the words.
• Ask if your child has experienced any of those feelings and when they occurred.
• Take turns discussing past events when you or your child had the feelings on the chart.
• It is best to start with positive events, for instance, someone complimented you at school and that made you feel happy and proud.
• Then you can discuss some negative events, for instance, how it felt when someone called you a name or said something insulting to you.
• Review often
• Younger children can be asked to imitate or draw faces to match the chart
• You can play Simon Says games to review the feelings portrayed by the pictures, for example: “Simon Says, look frustrated today.”
Bloomquist, M. (2013) Skills Training for Struggling Kids. Guilford Press. NY