Self-regulation is the ability to control behavioral and emotional responses. It’s having the skill to calm yourself down when you get upset, to adjust to a change, and to handle frustration without outbursts. And it’s a foundational developmental skill! 

Teaching self-regulation takes practice and patience. Here are some simple ways to support your kids’ self-regulation skills on a daily basis. 

ways to teach kids emotional regulation

1. Fresh Air

Provide opportunities for outdoor play to let the energy out. Increased heart rate = more blood flow to the brain = more brainpower. 

2. Bubbles

Blowing bubbles is a kid-friendly way to practice deep breathing, because to blow them you need to breathe from the belly, at a regular tempo.

3. Read Together

Reading books about emotions is a great way to discuss all the feelings kids have. 

4. Listen to Music

Calm music can help settle kids down. Making up simple, silly songs can also help children remember self-regulation strategies. 

5. Rest & Nutrition 

Lack of sleep, dehydration, or a hungry tummy can take a toll on anyone’s social-emotional skills! Sometimes all a kid needs is a snack or a nap.