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Teaching Self Control

9 Ways to Model Self-Control

Posted In Teaching On April 4, 2023

Self-Control is an executive function that describes the ability to stop and think before acting.  Students who struggle with self-control have a difficult time regulating their behaviors, and they often do not realize the consequences of their actions. These students have frequent challenges in the classroom, and their opportunities to learn are greatly diminished. Teaching students specific strategies for controlling their behaviors is necessary for skill development, but modeling the strategies for students to see is often the most important piece to the puzzle.

The following nine ways will help you model self-control in your classroom:

  • Use a breathing technique to gain control and explain how breathing helps calm your body.
  • Before making a decision, show how considering the consequences helps you choose what to do.
  • Explain the warning signs you feel in your body when you are going to have an emotion that might lead to a strong reaction.
  • Show students a visual sign you use to remember to stop and think before acting.
  • When you think of how you want to say something, explain what your options are and why you think one is the best choice.
  • When you wait to share something important, show your students how you kept the idea in your mind.
  • After conversing with your students, show how you were able to tell when it was your turn to speak.
  • When you have a problem to solve, explain two possible solutions and how you will choose the best one.
  • When something triggered you, show your students what you did to maintain control of your actions.


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