I have worked with many students who have difficulty with emotional regulation, and helping them is no walk in the park. There are so many influencing factors it’s hard to know what will help the most. Sensory tools? Talking about anxiety? Pragmatic language lessons? Reward chart? Every kid is different, and there’s no easy fix.
Lately I’ve been writing personalized stories for my students. Most of them can discuss their meltdowns, feelings, and potential strategies in the sterile therapy environment…which does not help them the rest of the day. In my stories I’ve tried to dissect specific triggers and outline what the student should have done instead.
I often use children’s books in therapy, but my very literal students have a hard time seeing themselves in the characters. So in the process of writing many stories and reading many books, I created my own full-fledged children’s book, If Feelings Take Over. While it tells the story of one third grade boy learning to manage his emotions at school, I include many discussion questions and an application activity to help students apply the concepts from the book into their real life areas of struggle.
As I mentioned before, there is no quick fix for emotional regulation difficulties. That said, I think If Feelings Take Over provides a great description (and illustration) of the problem and its effects, facilitates valuable and personalized discussion, and helps get you and your student/client/child on the journey of finding strategies that really work. It’s appropriate for children in preschool through fifth grade and available on Amazon. I sincerely hope you check it out and that it will be helpful on your journey helping kids manage their emotions.