Self-regulation is often difficult for trauma-affected youth. They need support in regulating their bodies and minds. This self-regulation I'm referring to is also known as self-soothing. When a student gets escalated, they often need to do something to return to baseline before they can participate in class. If you want to know what self-regulation tools you need to have in your classroom, read on! Help your trauma-affected students get themselves under control with five amazing and easy tools.
Why, How, and What...
Each tool uses some physical component of the body to help students regain control of their mind. In previous posts, I've written about how our more primitive brain can take over if we feel threatened in some way. We can use tools that cue our more advanced brains, allowing us to regain control and get oxygen back to the brain. That's what these tools will do.
As you can already imagine, you can use these tools together. For instance, give a student the meditation device, set them up in the rocking chair, and give them some essential oils to breathe in. They can be interchanged and combined in whatever way works for you. Be open to other things that students may think of as tools for gaining self-control.
Guided meditations, rocking, weighted blankets, juggling or a yo-yo, essential oils, and relaxing music are all practical tools to help students regulate their baseline vitals. Getting heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, and perspiration under control will allow students to more readily participate in class. In addition, it helps them develop self-regulation that they can employ whether or not the tools are available. Avoid punishing students' "bad" behavior, keep them in class, and help them grow with these 5 self-soothing tools.
Check out the video that inspired this post!
My name is Erin E. Silcox. I'm working on my Ph.D. in Literacy Education, focusing on the intersection of trauma and literacy. I want to deepen our base of knowledge about trauma-informed practices in schools and help teachers apply findings right now.