5 Easy Ways to Encourage Self Control Skills

Teaching children the valuable skill of self-control is essential for their future success. It helps kids learn to regulate their emotions, make better decisions, and think before they act. But teaching kids about self-control isn’t always easy. So, how can school counselors help? Keep reading to find 5 easy ways to encourage self control skills in the classroom.

Self Control Skills in the Classroom: Find 5 easy ways to encourage self control skill building in the classroom!

Self Control Skills in the Classroom

1 – Model Self Control

Just like adults, children learn from what they see. If a child sees that you are able to remain calm in difficult situations and take a step back to think before acting, they are more likely to adopt this behavior themselves. This also teaches your students that it’s okay to express emotion and talk about feelings in a healthy way. Talk through challenging situations aloud so they can hear your inner monologue. For example, “The internet isn’t connecting. I feel frustrated because I wanted to show you all a helpful video for today’s lesson. I’ll take some deep breaths. Okay, I can be flexible.”

2- Provide an Outlet

Helping kids find ways to express, sit with, manage, or channel their emotions into something productive can be enormously helpful in developing self control skills. Whether it’s writing, drawing, or using sensory tools – providing outlets gives them the ability to control and express themselves without lashing out. Set up a calm corner in learning spaces where students can go to manage emotions.

Get printable calm corner tools

3 – Teach Problem Solving

Teaching problem solving skills helps kids understand there are multiple solutions available for any given situation and encourages them to practice making rational decisions in the face of adversity or emotional distress. When faced with a challenging situation, go through each step of problem-solving together and provide guidance on how best to tackle the issue at hand (e.g., breaking down tasks into smaller chunks). This will teach your students how to recognize when they need help and how to ask for it when needed.

Get problem solving activities

4 – Talk About Feelings

Encouraging open dialogue about emotions is key for building self control skills in children as it allows for them to understand why certain behaviors are inappropriate or unhealthy while also giving them the tools necessary for expressing those feelings in productive ways (e.g., using “I statements” instead of “you statements”). This can be done through role playing activities or simply discussing different scenarios with your students so they can practice how best to respond appropriately while still conveying their feelings effectively without lashing out or becoming overly emotional themselves.

Resources for talking about feelings

5 – Praise Positive Behavior

It’s important that we recognize positive behavior when we see it! Positive reinforcement is one of the most effective methods of teaching children self control skills because it reinforces positive behaviors while helping them stay motivated and on track with their goals. Whenever you see a student practicing self control, don’t forget to let them know you noticed! A simple pat on the back or verbal praise goes a long way towards helping build confidence and reinforcing good habits over time.


Self-control is an essential life skill that everyone should strive towards mastering if they want to lead successful lives as adults, but teaching kids this important lesson isn’t always easy! By modeling self control ourselves, providing creative outlets for expression, teaching problem solving skills, talking openly about emotions,and praising good behavior whenever we see it – our students will be well on their way towards mastering these invaluable lessons in no time! With regular practice and guidance from trusted adults like school counselors – learning these life skills won’t seem so daunting after all!

Self Control Skills in the Classroom: Resources to Make Things Easy

Keep Reading:

10 Games to Teach Self Control

Self Control Activity: Don’t Tap the Balloon

Self Control Skills in the Classroom: Find 5 easy ways to encourage self control skill building in the classroom! These self control activities are easy to apply in classroom guidance lessons, small group counseling sessions, and individual counseling sessions.

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