2 Simple Techniques for Teaching Self-Control

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Every teacher knows how important it is to help students learn self-control—it’s vital to a healthy and positive classroom climate! Beyond that, students with self-control do better in life: they get better grades, demonstrate greater self-acceptance and self-esteem, report less guilt and shame that lead to destructive behaviors, and develop stronger and healthier interpersonal relationships.

So what can you do to help encourage self-control in your students? Here are two techniques that help:

1) 4 Simple Self-Control Steps. At CLIMB, our self-control plays and classes teach 4 easy-to-remember self-control steps:

  • Stop
  • Think
  • What could happen?
  • Is that what you want?

This helps students realize that their choices are connected to their outcomes. Just a simple reminder like this can help students catch themselves when they’re about to behave in an out-of-control manner and make a more productive choice. Not only can you teach your students these steps, but posting them in your classroom as a visual is a great way to help students remember them. Here’s a colorful poster that you can download and print for free.

2) Teach students to take a breath before making a decision. Another great method is to teach students how to breathe deeply when they’re feeling frustrated or antsy. Deep breathing helps diffuse adrenaline and stabilize heart rates, which are often stimulated in moments of intense emotion. Here’s a simple breathing technique you can teach students to use:

Stop…2…3; Breathe…2…3; use my self-control.

Have students repeat the exercise 2 or 3 times until they’ve calmed down.

Developing self-control isn’t particularly easy for anyone, but these two techniques are fun, engaging, and effective ways to help them begin to master this important social-emotional skill.

CLIMB Theatre has expertise helping students develop self-control and other positive behavior skills in fun, engaging ways. Learn more about bringing CLIMB’s character building programs to you.

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