3 Steps to Help Children Improve Self Control and Focus

All young children need to learn self control and how to focus.  At times, there are children who may need extra help to learn these skills in order to function better in the classroom and at home.  It is never too early to start even in infancy.  As parents, therapists and teachers sometimes we can dive right into “fixing” an issue rather than take the time to determine what is already working.  Here are three steps to help children improve self control and focus:

Step 1:  Determine what helps the child maintain self control and focus.  Observe very closely at school and at home, when is the child able to stay focused and exhibit self control.  Collect data if necessary to investigate the precursors to when a child is able to maintain self control better than others.

Step 2:  Use the approach from what you learned in step 1 to help the child to stay calm and focus.  For example, perhaps the baby is able to control emotions better when swaddled or maybe it is when the child is in a quiet area or perhaps it is when the child is able to stand up and work or maybe it is when children are able to express their emotions.  Use the strategies right away to establish an environment that makes it easier for the child to maintain self control.  If the teacher, parent, therapist or the child is able to figure out exactly what helps them to stay in control and focused, then the child is able to take the initiative to manage his/her own self control.   When the child does succeed, recognize his/her efforts.

Step 3:  Incorporate the skills into the child’s everyday routine.  Help the child to carry out these strategies throughout the day to assist him/her to stay in control and focused.

Overall, the goal is to use the techniques that the child already has for self regulation and infuse them throughout the day to maintain self control and focus.

Reference:  Galinsky, E. (2010) Mind in the Making. NY, NY. Harper Studio.

Self Regulation Skills Curriculum

Self- Regulation Skills Taught: This curriculum provides an effective, time-efficient structured system to provide classroom breaks, improve self-awareness and self advocacy and teach specific self-regulation skills so that kids have tools to use in their classrooms. This system will get kids moving, give them the benefits of a brain power boost [from getting their heart rate up], give them heavy work and isometrics to help them calm down, and help them learn techniques to quiet and control their bodies in order to return to their academic work.  FIND OUT MORE.