Emotion Regulation

When we feel a strong emotion (e.g., angry, frightened), our bodies react in kind by engaging our fight, flight, or freeze response (e.g., by speeding up our heart rate and breathing, tensing up our bodies, putting our senses on high alert). Emotional dysregulation occurs when this response doesn’t fit the situation or gets in the way of our ability to react in a useful way. Emotion regulation refers to the process of calming our brains and/or bodies (e.g., by taking deep breaths, talking with a trusted person).
Age range: 1st grade through 4th grade.
Recommended for: This is a good introduction to the feeling of frustration and how to manage it. It is applicable to children who blow up when they’re frustrated (e.g. kids who will smash apart a Lego creation if they’re struggling to get something right), as well as kids who are more inclined to quickly give up and avoid a frustrating situation.
Age range: Preschool through 2nd grade.
Recommended for: This book is an excellent read before, during, or after a vacation to help a child prepare for/ cope with/ or process a trip not going exactly as planned. Mr. Fish is initially frustrated by all of the disappointments, but then he realizes that the hiccups came with new opportunities and adventure (e.g., a detour takes him to a beautiful view). This book could be used more generally as a way to talk about things not going as planned and how a child can cope with this and be more open to disappointments and detours leading to new opportunities.