Let’s talk about the executive skill known as emotional control! In the realm of elementary and middle school campuses, the term “emotional control” encompasses a wide spectrum of behaviors. Understanding these expressions, from temper tantrums to defiance and conflicts with peers, is pivotal in providing effective support.

One of our newest mini-courses, titled “The Executive Skill of Emotional Control,” has been a huge hit! I want to recap some takeaways that I believe you will find beneficial in your work as a school psych! Let’s dive in!

Rebuilding Emotional Control Post-Distance Learning  

School psychs are still sometimes seeing behavioral difficulties in the classroom setting caused by distance learning during the pandemic. Being away from a structured classroom setting and spending more time at home, some students may have had limited opportunities to practice emotional control strategies. This necessitates a renewed focus on trauma-informed practices and social-emotional learning. How can school psychs help? During consultation with teachers and administrators, school psychs can recommend strategies such as restorative practices, community circles, mindfulness, and morning meetings in the classroom, which can serve as crucial tools in helping students regulate their emotions effectively.


Tailoring Interventions for Individual Needs

When it comes to students struggling with emotional control, personalized interventions are key. Visual supports, such as calming strategies, play a significant role, especially in elementary settings. The introduction of concepts such as the Zones of Regulation can be instrumental in creating a school-wide approach. Additionally, age-appropriate resources like mindfulness activities and videos can offer middle school students valuable tools for emotional self-regulation.

Navigating emotional control in children demands a nuanced approach. It is crucial to distinguish between temper tantrums and behavioral meltdowns, understanding that the latter often stems from a genuine struggle to self-regulate. By collecting data and employing tailored interventions, educators and psychologists can provide the support needed to help children develop essential emotional control skills.

Our Prepared School Psych community members have exclusive access to our brand-new mini-courses, which are released every Monday! (there may be exceptions during the holidays). Completing mini-courses gives Prepared School Psych members the ability to earn CEUs or a certificate of completion, and our mini-course library already has topics about executive functions, 504 plans, new mini-courses coming soon about counseling goals, neurodiversity affirming practices, and more! If you are already a member, head over to the site now to start your learning. If you are not yet a member, click the button below and get started today!