The counseling department has been teaching on emotional regulation this month. We want students to be able to identify the emotion that they are feeling, as well as manage those feelings in a safe and appropriate way.
We teach students that it's okay to feel their feelings, it's what we choose to do in response to those feelings that may not be okay. It is okay to be angry, it's not okay to throw a chair when you are angry! We teach alternative responses, safe ways to let out their anger.
Here are a few things that we teach:
1. Deep breaths
It sounds easy, right? That's because it is! Typically our hearts begin to race when we are feeling anxious or angry. Deep breathing allows us to manage the physical symptoms of anger/anxiety and help lower our heart rate. It is a safe skill that we can use any time, anywhere.
2. The push, pull, dangle.
The push, pull, dangle is a skill from the book Soda Pop Head, by Julia Cook. It involves pushing as hard as you can down onto your chair for 10 second, pulling up on your chair for 10 seconds, and then letting your arms dangle and feel the anger leaving your body. If you have a primary student, ask them to teach you!
3. Get some help!
If those skills do not help them calm themselves, I tell them that I am a safe spot for them to come and calm down in a safe way. We can go for a walk on the playground, talk it out, or do whatever the student needs to help them deal with their feelings.