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Simple Phrases to use with your Kids

As an educator, consultant, wife, and mama, Social Emotional Learning just comes with the territory. You can’t get teaching, or raising a child, RIGHT if you get Social Emotional Learning wrong. And it comes in systems. It’s in the things that we do each day, the routines that we have, and the phrases that we say.

Helping our kids manage emotions and stay on task can be difficult, and frustrating for everyone involved if we don't have the tools to best support them. By using these simple phrases, we can set them up for success, help them deal with frustration, offer support, and give choices, giving them the tools and steps to keep moving forward.

Tip #1: Set them up for Success

“What do you need right now to be successful?”

This phrase is one of my favorites.

We want our child to be successful, and when there’s frustration and outbursts, situations can escalate. So before it escalates, use this phrase!

Tip #2: Offer Choices

First, Then Choice Board

“Would you like to _____ or _____ first?”

Offer your child two choices to not only cultivate independence but also to keep them motivated to continue on their task at hand!

Tip #3: Give Support

Coping Strategies Visual

"What strategy/tool do you need right now to support you?"

​Has your child started talking about the Zones of Regulation at home? In our classrooms, we talk about the Zone that we’re in or where we are on the Mood Meter, but most importantly, we talk about the STRATEGIES and TOOLS that we can use to support us when we’re IN each Zone.

Having a list of go-to strategies is a great way to provide support throughout the day!

Tip #4: Help them manage Frustration

"What can I do for you so that this task is a little less tricky?"

(You can also follow up by saying, “Show me what’s making this task tricky, and let me see what I can do to help you make it less tricky for your brain.”)

Are your kiddos frustrated with their tasks and activities? It’s difficult when you don’t have the support from your teacher and your peers in person all day long. So when you start to see frustration in your child, use THIS phrase to see what YOU can do to make things a little less tricky for them so they can continue their task without escalating their frustration.

These phrases and short and simple, yet help us to connect with our children, come alongside them in whatever they are facing, and find success together.

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Disclaimer: The resources and ideas found on this website are all research-based and vetted with a parent and educator lens. The tools listed have worked for students and children that I work with; however, each child is different. This list is not exhaustive and is a compilation of ideas and strategies to try in schools or at home. No information on this website should be used as medical advice. I am not a clinical psychologist, but I do work alongside them as thought partners in this journey.

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Kim Gameroz is a change agent for schools and districts who seek to revolutionize classrooms by taking on a systematic approach to teaching social and emotional skills.

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