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Teach kids how to de-escalate themselves!

Date: May 17th, 2017
By: Polly Bath

Polly Bath: One of my high school teachers did something really cool. She had a vacation station. She had some kids who really had some very complex issues going on. She took containers of Play-Doh, took the labels off, replaced them with “frustration,” “angry,” “defensive,” “tired,” and she put all these different feelings labels on the Play-Doh containers.

When the kids had to go take a little time, they would go sit in this carrel, which was away from other kids in the classroom, and they would actually choose which one of those Play-Dohs matched what was going on with them.

You know what? At a high school level, because she had actually taught what it meant to identify with your feelings, they could do that non-verbally!

When they took the Play-Doh out, they would think about the actual label that they were playing with, and it worked. It worked! Then they would put it back in the container, and they would just rejoin the class. They felt a whole lot better. She TAUGHT it, but then USED it as a skill for them to self manage!