At Strength Heroes we teach children emotional regulation. This starts with teaching them how their brain works when they make mistakes, are disappointed or are in their stretch zone learning something new.
We know that while children (and even adults) can tell us that “mistakes are okay”, but many find it really hard to deal with the BIG emotions that come when things don’t go to plan.
Our Emotion Wizzy Dizzy
When things don’t go to plan, when we make a mistake, or we are challenged, we can feel like we are on a wizzy dizzy (or a rollercoaster).
If you try to do something new and challenging and don’t get it or even worse make a mistake you may get very angry. “I will never get this I don’t know why I thought I could!” or you may start bargaining “This really is a ridiculous thing to be trying to do at my age!!!!!” You could even pretend it doesn’t matter “I thought I would give it a go but I don’t really care” or just get sad because you really do want to do it and you feel like you will.
All of these emotions are normal and we can’t stop them. Trouble is big emotional reactions to making a mistake or something going wrong can cause you to do something rash or make the situation worse.
If you think this is hard as an adult, it can be extra challenging for kids because the emotional regulation part of their brain is still developing. This means that often big emotions stop kids learning. They stop kids trying and big emotions can cause cause them to give up. That is because the unhelpful thoughts take over. As Henry Ford said “Whether you think you can or can’t either way you are right.”
At Strength Heroes we believe that kids need to be empowered to deal with BIG emotions. When kids have big emotions they need the skills to recognise and name it. They also need to accept the emotion in order to keep trying. Research and commonsense knows that when we have made a mistake or something has not gone to plan the last thing we feel is happy and that is normal. What we want kids to do is accept their emotions. To do this we have a BAT and they sit on our shoulder and remind us what we need to do when we are caught on the Emotion Wizzy Dizzy.
Our BAT helps kids calm down when they are on the Emotion Wizzy Dizzy
B is for Breathe – long slow breaths in and out to give us a DOSE of endorphins to calm us down. If we are really angry, we have techniques for grounding.
A is for Admit – how am I feeling right now? “I am really frustrated cause I can not work this out” and “Where am I feeling this in my body?”
T is for Think – with a calmer mind we can think about our next move or how we can bounce forward.