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Emotional regulation for students

9 Ways to Model Emotional Control

Posted In Teaching On April 18, 2023

Emotional Control is an executive function that describes the ability to manage feelings while completing tasks and working towards goals. Students who struggle with emotional control often react strongly to triggers and problems, and they have a difficult time coping with their feelings.  These types of struggles interfere with students being able to focus on their studies and complete their work. Modeling ways to cope with strong feelings and manage reactions gives students tools to use when they find themselves in challenging situations.  Some emotional control behaviors to model could include:

  • When you are feeling a strong emotion, explain to your students what you are thinking and how your body is feeling.
  • Use a breathing technique to help you manage your emotions and show your students how you are calming yourself by breathing.
  • Share a feeling you are having and then show situations that may cause others to feel that emotion too.
  • Explain to students what you did to maintain control of your actions when something triggered you.
  • When feeling out of control, show your students how to identify what you can and cannot control in that situation.
  • Show students how you take time to think before reacting to a stressful situation so you can decide how you want to react.
  • When facing a challenge, explain how to determine the size of the problem and choose a proportional reaction.
  • Show students how you are doing something physical to give your brain a break during a stressful situation.
  • Explain to students whom you go to for help when you are having strong emotions.


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