How to Build Student Self-Regulation in Students
Although 2020 has brought many ups and downs, and unexpected turns, one thing has stayed constant—uncertainty. Whether your holiday planning has been stalled because the threat of a potential lockdown or your local supermarket unexpectedly runs out of essential items due to the most recent virus updates, every person on the globe has been faced with a constantly changing daily atmosphere that can lead to feelings of hopelessness, sadness, and even anger.
While this uncertainty can be difficult for adults to process and work through, it is exponentially more difficult for children. Anecdotal evidence has shown that since the pandemic has begun, some children have been acting out in ways more extreme than ever before. Some behaviours include having more frequent temper-tantrums, crying, screaming, fighting with siblings, and even cutting hair. So why is this and what can parents and educators do to help children cope during the pandemic or any time they are faced with an obstacle?
To fully understand the answer to this question, let’s start by breaking down a few key terms, self-awareness and self-regulation.
While the definition of self-awareness is exactly as it sounds, it can be quite challenging to always keep in mind. Self-awareness is the ability to be aware of your character and feelings. Furthermore, it is an understanding of one’s emotional state, needs, and perspectives. Self-awareness begins to develop at a young age but is refined throughout adulthood. In fact, during the pandemic people of all ages have refined this skill every day.
For example, during the last month have you ever been overcome by an unexpected feeling of sadness? I know I have. For what feels to be like no reason, I can get flooded with the inclination to cry. However, when I take a moment to reflect and exercise self-awareness, I know this feeling did not merely come out of the blue, but rather has been developing over time as the day since I was last able to see my family becomes further and further away.
After becoming aware of my feelings, I then engage in self-regulation. In this case, it means I resist the urge to break down into tears while working (no one likes a wet keyboard), remind myself of a phone call I have scheduled with my mom, take a breath, and move forward.
Since it is difficult for adults to always exercise their self-regulation skills, we can only imagine how difficult it is for children. To help children manage their emotions, parents and educators need to build in opportunities for students to learn and practice these skills to improve their mental health and ultimately develop their emotional intelligence. This is where self-regulation courses for children can be a great resource.
Self-Regulation Courses For Children
To help children better connect with and understand their emotions, the world of online e-learning programs has seen a recent increase in self-regulation courses for children. While some organizations like Early Childhood Australia rely on adults to enrol in their courses and then pass on these skills to children by supporting their development, Leaders of Evolution takes out the middleman and offers self-regulation courses for children directly to the audience —children.
Leaders of Evolution has adapted a few of their online e-learning programs to create self-regulation courses for children that can be used in primary schools. Starting in Year 5 schools can enrol their students in our Foundations Course that focuses on leadership development by first understanding oneself.
Not only will students increase their self-awareness through reflective quizzes this self-regulation courses for children is the first course in Leaders of Evolution’s progression of online e-learning programs designed to create future leaders by helping students be better learners, friends, and people.
Aligned with The Australian Curriculum, Leaders of Evolution’s self-regulation courses for children focus on continuing to strengthen students’ ability to recognize the emotions of themselves and others in order to adjust their behaviours to best respond to a situation at hand. This self-regulation is an essential skill for students to lead by example both inside and outside the classroom, but more importantly, it is the key to processing their emotions and overcoming obstacles.
Moving Forward: Self-management Courses
Self-management refers to one’s abilities to control their actions and correctly manage time and priorities. Because it is such an umbrella term, self-regulation courses range from teaching self-control of emotions (i.e. anger management) to courses teaching business managers how to best lead their teams.
As students progress through Leaders of Evolution’s online e-learning programs they will encounter units that resemble sections of these full self-management courses. For example, our Student Leadership in Schools courses (Year 5 and Year 6) introduce the importance of self-control, and our Future Skills of the Workplace (students aged 16-18) teach students how to work autonomously and correctly manage their time. Essential elements of self-regulation courses are weaved through our entire curriculum to fully develop student leadership skills over time.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that life can be unpredictable. While we can all think (and hope) that this year will be an anomaly, the best way to make sure that future difficult events do not take as large of a toll on our mental health is to be proactive and prepare.
We can best prepare by strengthening our sense of self-awareness so we can decipher our own emotions (so we can avoid those adult temper-tantrums) but also by setting future generations up for success by providing them with the opportunity to build self-regulation and self-management skills. By investing in student’s self-awareness and personal development now through self-regulation courses for children, they will grow into strong individuals that when faced with a difficult situation are prepared to lead.
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