you prefer), emotions and feelings come in layers. With a teenager, a tween, and a girl of 8 going on 16- emotions are stacked high around here. Thankfully, I have tools that help with emotional regulation skills in my back pocket.
Did you know that self-regulation abilities have a stronger correlation with school readiness than IQ or entry-level reading or math skills? Wow. Let that sink in for a moment. Back in the eighties, my ¨neighbor¨, Mister Rogers, recognized the importance of emotional regulation too and was even quoted as saying ¨I´m convinced that when we help our children find healthy ways of dealing with their feelings - ways that don´t hurt them or anyone else- we´re helping to make a world a safer, better place.¨
¨I´m convinced that when we help our children find healthy ways of dealing with their feelings -ways that don´t hurt them or anyone else- we´re helping to make a world a safer, better place.¨
So now we know the vital importance of emotional regulation but wherever do we begin to help our children with these so desperately needed skills? Enter The Zones of Regulations by Leah Kuypers. Before I could target a child´s speech and language skills in therapy my students had to be in a state of calmness. While I always hoped to be a place of safety and comfort I often struggled as a therapist (and a mom too) to help find emotional regulation tools beyond taking a few deep breaths. But the Zones teaches children how to describe how their brains AND their bodies feel. Human emotions fall into four categories: blue, green, yellow and red. While the program stresses that it is okay to be in any of the zones it gives children tools to help them get back to the green zone in which they can feel okay, where they can listen, learn and absorb all the knowledge a caregiver or teacher has to share.
Make a board, create a chart, check out the many ideas on our Pinterest board to customize the Zones of Regulation to work for your family. Change the conversation at your house and help your child find the right tools to use when regulating their emotions.
Now, hang tight- I´ll be back. My daughter just moved into the yellow zone thanks to some brotherly love.
While a good chunk of the country was experiencing the polar vortex of -15 degrees last week, here in Texas, we experienced cold temperatures in the 40s. Al beit, I craved turning on the fireplace and settling in with one of my favorite books, Emma. While you may be thinking, ¨What a wonderful Jane Austen novel to revisit with Valentine´s Day just around the corner!" To quote ole Sweet Brown, ¨Aint nobody got time for that!" At least not during show week around our house.
Did you hear? This week is National Children's Author and Illustrator week! Whomever began this celebration week must be an SLP kind of person. The devoted week was created to boost literacy rates and increase engagement in our children. Did you know the Barbra Bush Houston Literacy Foundation found that 43% of adults with the lowest level of literacy live in poverty? Suddenly, reading catapults a leisurely activity into a life changing one.
Emma also pairs perfectly with Social Thinking´s Zones of Regulations for our preschoolers. These books help elicit natural opportunities for discussions about each other's feelings (more about the Zones next week!). Oliver´s charming illustrations lend themselves to exploring what our own faces look as though we are surprised like Mr. Weston or sad like Emma´s dear friend Harriet.
So, how can you celebrate this wonderful week of lovely literature?
VISIT your local library or favorite book store and discover a new favorite author. My mother taught kindergarten for 20 something years. She was always discovering new children´s authors and taking us to book signings. I remember how exciting it was to visit local book stores with new stories to uncover.
ENJOY watching you or your child's favorite celebrities read children's literature over at www.StorylineOnline.net including Kristen Bell, Oprah Winfrey and Chris Pine (just to name a few!).
This past fall, my mother brought me a bag full of yellow paged books from my childhood. There was once a time I kept those books thinking my own children would read them, but their worn covers and brittle pages were not as appealing to my kids as they once were to me. I think I´ll celebrate this week with a book from that bag- a book that takes me back to a time where my biggest obstacle to overcome was staying up late enough to finish my book.
Hope you all enjoy celebrating authors and illustrators this week!