Monday, January 16, 2012

Strengthening the Executive Skill of Emotional Control

Dear Friends,

     In this post we will be exploring the executive skill of “Emotional Control.”  Here we want students to have social and emotional skills where they can become aware of their own emotions, understand how they are manifested and how to take of their emotional needs.  This is not an easy skill, and like inhibition, takes time to listen and reflect upon how one is feeling.

     Some strategies for strengthening Emotional Control are to help students become aware of what the feel in different situations.  It is important to give students permission to talk about the variety of feelings they may have and how they often exist all at the same time!  Students can sometimes feel embarrassed of how they feel, so it is important to create a safe environment for them to explore their feelings.   Next, it is important for students to understand how they respond to these emotions – or how they express what they are feeling.  Do they feel like crying, do they want to be alone, do they need a hug, or a nap, or a friend?  

     Once students become aware of what they feel, they can learn to ask for what they need.  Adults are needed to help students choose things and people that will help them to feel better allow for healthy understanding and expression of emotions.  This skill also takes time, and practice and is something we all work on for the rest of our lives.

Wishing you a good day!
Kimberly Borin
Learning Specialist