When a child is in the RED ZONE
Use a De-escalation strategy to help your child regulate
- The calmer you are, the calmer they will feel.
- Keep your voice steady and matter-of-fact.
- Get down to their level and make eye contact when you talk.
- Acknowledge how they feel:
“You look frustrated, and it’s okay to feel that way.”
- When YOU name the feelings you see, the CHILD begins to learn to name them too.
- Put an arm around the child if appropriate.
Help Solve the Problem
- Something caused the frustration – let them know you can help fix it.
- Give the child language to articulate their feelings, and to describe to you what happened:
“Oh no! Your block tower fell over, that probably made you feel so mad/frustrated/sad! Sometimes I like when others can help me fix something that is broken”
“That puzzle does look tricky, I know you can do it on your own, but I can help if you think you need it.”
Have a Calm Down Spot
- Create a calming space for the child to go. Explain to the child that this is a place for taking breaks to calm down, and keep it positive.
- Stay nearby - Children need to instinctively know that the adults in their lives can handle their BIG, SCARY Emotions.
When your child is regulated:
- Eventually children will wind down and feel ready to return to their learning.
- Offer praise for being able to calm themselves and support a smooth transition into a new activity.
“It looks like you feel better now,” ”You helped yourself calm down!”