Teaching Children to Self-Regulate

AAPB's Education Section and Pediatrics Section are coordinating on a new project aimed at 'Teaching Children to Self-Regulate.' Our goal is to create a workbook full of handouts and exercises, to assist educational and health professionals to teach children and youth to regulate their own bodies, emotions, relationships, and lives. Initially we will focus on middle school children, since the middle school years are so critical for today's children - a time when many children begin to lose their way.

Volunteers from the Pediatrics and Education sections are now writing handouts and learning modules, which will be assembled as curriculum for a one day workshop at the March 2002 AAPB annual meeting in Las Vegas. We will publish the workbook later as a resource for health and educational professionals.

The workshop will train AAPB members and non-members interested in the well-being of children, and prepare them to carry out interventions in their communities' schools and churches, beginning in the academic year 2002-2003. Non-AAPB members should include teachers, school counselors and social workers, administrators, youth pastors, and ministers. Remember, this is not just training in general but a preparation for an immediate outreach to the children in one's own community.

An Invitation to Participate

We do not need to re-invent the wheel in this project. Biofeedback practitioners, educators, and others have been developing handouts on these topics for three decades. If you have handouts or learning materials relevant to these topics, and you are willing to have them included in the same or revised form, please send them via e-mail to me (Donald Moss, dmoss@novagate.com ) and I will distribute them to those working on this project. If you are willing to lead or collaborate on one of the curriculum sections, please contact me. Your labors will be appreciated.

Meanwhile, plan to attend the 'Teaching Children to Self-Regulate' workshop in March 2002, and begin to consider possible church, school, or youth group settings where you could deliver a self-regulation training course.

Teaching the Middle School Child to Self-Regulate: A Model Curriculum

Each section of the curriculum will include an introduction to guide professionals who teach the program, and handouts for children's practical learning. The curriculum emphasizes the acquisition of knowledge and skills that enable a child to cope effectively with the challenges and problems of everyday life. Handouts should be labeled as knowledge units, assessment units, skill units, experiential learning units, and homework units. Each unit should be approximately one to two pages and about 150-500 words). Graphics, diagrams, and illustrations are encouraged. The materials will initially be designed for a middle school reading level, although they may be modified later for other age levels.

The curriculum will cover six topic areas: 1) Biological Self-Regulation, 2) Emotional Self-Regulation, 3) Stress Management, 4) Social Self-Regulation, 5) Spiritual/Moral Self-Regulation, and 6) Neural Self-Regulation.

Curriculum Outline

I. Biological Self-Regulation

Editor: Wes Sime, PhD

An introduction to biological self-regulation

1.1 Knowledge Unit: What is stress?

1.2 Knowledge Unit: Using early warning signs of stress

1.3 Assessment Unit: Recognizing physical tensions and symptoms

1.4 Skill Unit: Recognizing the impact of stressful events and physical tension

1.5 Skill Unit: Recognizing the impact of thoughts and feelings on physical tensions

1.6 Knowledge Unit: The relaxation response

1.7 Skill Unit: Progressive muscle relaxation

1.8 Skill Unit: Autogenic training

1.9 Skill Unit: Visualization and the calm scene

1.10 Skill Unit: Diaphragmatic breathing

1.11 Knowledge Unit: Biofeedback: Building physical self-control

1.12 Homework Unit: Physical exercise and activity guidelines

II. Emotional Self-Regulation

Editor: Idit Shalev, PhD, Israel

An introduction to emotional self-regulation

2.1 Knowledge Unit: Emotional awareness and emotional intelligence

2.2 Skill Unit: Recognizing emotional facial expressions

2.3 Skill Unit: Labeling emotions verbally

2.4 Experiential Unit: Expressing emotions to others

2.5 Skill Unit: Emotional self-control

2.6 Homework Unit: Emotional journaling

2.7 Knowledge Unit: Thinking and feeling

2.8 Skill Unit: Identifying common distortions in thinking

2.9 Skill Unit: Positive self-talk

2.10 Skill Unit: Anger Management

2.11 Knowledge Unit: Adaptive virtues: Altruism, identifying options, thinking ahead, humor, and others

III. Stress Management

Editor: To be identified

An introduction to stress management

3.1 Knowledge Unit: Stress management in your life

3.2 Assessment Unit: Identifying stress in your life

3.3 Skill Unit: Facing problems

3.4 Discussing problems

3.5 Skill Unit: Problem solving

3.6 Homework Unit: Eliminating and avoiding stressful settings

3.7 Skill Unit: Accepting what I cannot change

3.8 Skill Unit: Changing my thoughts about problems

IV. Social Self-Regulation

Editor: Olivia Jarret, M.A.,Texas

An introduction to social self-regulation

4.1 Knowledge Unit: Social skills

4.2 Skill Unit: Reaching out to others

4.3 Knowledge Unit: Forming supportive friendships

4.4 Experiential Unit: Active listening and empathy

4.5 Skill Unit: Communication skills

4.6 Skill Unit: Conflict resolution

4.7 Skill Unit: Anxiety about Social Contact

4.8 Homework Unit: Making positive choices

4.9 Knowledge Unit: Obtaining adult supports/mentors

(This latter is important because we know children don't learn resilience outside a supportive relationship)

V. Spiritual/Moral Self-regulation

Editor: Donald Moss, PhD, Michigan

An introduction to moral and spiritual self-regulation

5.1 Knowledge Unit: Moral reasoning

5.2 Skill Unit: Confessing mistakes/regrets

5.3 Skill Unit: Forgiving others

5.4 Knowledge Unit: Compassion: Feeling for other persons

5.5 Knowledge Unit: Altruism: Enjoying service to others

5.6 Homework Unit: Experiencing beauty and wonder in nature

5.7 Homework Unit: Experiencing harmony with the world and other persons

5.8 Experiential Unit: Transcendent experiences

5.9 Homework Unit: Reading about Mother Theresa and other inspiring persons

5.10 Knowledge Unit: Relating to God or a higher power beyond oneself

5.11 Experiential unit: Meditation

5.12 Homework Unit: A spiritual tool box: Reading spiritual books, prayer, attending a church or youth group, visiting nature, discussing your ideals and dreams with friends

VI. Neural Self-Regulation

Editor: Judith Lubar, PhD (Tennessee)

An introduction to neural self-regulation

6.1 Knowledge Unit: The human brain and learning

6.2 Skill Unit: Learning to adopt one's state of mind to the present situation

6.3 Skill Unit: Focusing and attending skills

6.4 Assessment Unit: Evaluating learning problems

6.5 Knowledge Unit: EEG neurofeedback

6.6 Knowledge Unit: Medication and Learning

VII. Personal Integration

Editor: Daniel Hamel, PhD (Israel)

Applying and integrating self-regulation skills and concepts in daily life.

7.1 Skill Unit: Combining bodily and emotional awareness in daily life

7.2 Knowledge Unit: Using stress management in daily life. Integrating spiritual, emotional, cognitive and bodily aspects into a general coping attitude and coping behaviors.

7.3 Experiential Unit: Building an individualized response to stress.

7.4 Homework Unit: Integrating all of the self-regulation perspectives (cognitive, emotional, spiritual and physiological) into a healthy lifestyle:

7.5 Homework Unit: Dealing with test-anxiety

7.6 Homework Unit: Dealing with stage fright and performance fears.

7.7 Homework Unit: Overcoming sleep problems.

7.8 Skill Unit: Coping with intrusive thoughts and general worries or fears.

7.9 Homework Unit: Pain management.

7.10 Homework Unit: Optimal performance in sports competitions.

Last revised: 21-Mar-2001

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