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3 Proven Regulation Skills For Your Kids

Updated: Mar 24

It’s time to get realistic about emotion management for kids.

Calm girl

As a certified school counselor with over eight years of working with challenging behaviors, I can say with complete confidence that society has gotten too idealistic when it comes to regulation skills for kids.  Yes, Cognitive-Behavioral skills and Mindfulness skills can absolutely be effective and life changing.  I also agree that they should be discussed and actively worked on to encourage future integration.  However, they can quickly become unreliable in the context of kids, whether it’s a kindergartner who’s struggling to tie her shoe or a senior in high school who is obsessing about the opinions of others, since they require immense self-control that many kids lack due to normal developmental implications.

Here’s the bottom line when it comes to reliable regulation strategies for kids:

Kids control their emotions, when they get in-motion.

Movement has proven to be the only guaranteed way that kids can independently regulate themselves throughout my career, regardless of age or circumstances.  It doesn’t matter if a kid has an explosive outburst or is imploding from excessive worry, when motion is prioritized, regulation is eventually achieved.

Here are 3 ways your child can get in-motion to successfully manage their feelings:

  1. Moving from the problem by physically walking away to calm down before trying again.

  2. Moving on to the next problem or thing to distract themselves in order to calm down before trying again.

  3. Moving to someone to connect with them to feel comforted or to help problem-solve before trying again.

Physical movement (moving from), mental distraction (moving on), and interpersonal connection (moving to) have proven to be the only three guaranteed methods for calming down that I’ve experienced after working with hundreds kids.  Keep in mind that regardless of how your child gets in-motion, the end goal should always be to move through the initial problem in order to overcome it.

Zack Kasabo is a certified school counselor who has worked with extremely challenging behaviors for over eight years outside of Philadelphia, PA. He is the owner of Kasabo Behavior Management which is a coaching service that specializes in helping parents confidently manage their child’s challenging behavior in 8 weeks or less.

You can schedule your free consult today to learn more by going to:   

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