Teaching Emotional Management at Home

We manage our emotions frequently throughout the day — sometimes, without even realizing it. But do you recall a time, possibly even as a child, where you felt sad or frustrated and your emotions got the best of you? We’ve all been there. Being able to manage your emotions is just one component of social emotional learning (SEL). SEL is comprised of the skills we use to recognize and manage our own emotions and being able to recognize emotions in others. One way to teach these skills, is to create and use a self-management tool such as The Emotion Color Wheel.

By using this tool each day, you’ll teach your child how to regulate their emotions and constructively solve problems, and in the long-run, they’ll be better equipped to deal with life’s challenges.

What is the Emotion Color Wheel?

The Emotion Color Wheel is an easy-to-make color-coded flip chart that is used as a visual guide to talk about how you’re feeling.

What do I need to make one?

  • Three-hole puncher
  • A key chain ring or clip ring
  • Five pieces of different colored paper (lamination is optional)

How do I make one?

First, you’ll want to determine what each color will stand for. For example, is blue happy or sad, is it fine or angry? You can also use this guide!

Next, cut or fold each piece of paper into small squares. We’d recommend cutting them to be the size of playing cards.

Then, you’ll make one three-hole punch in the corner of each piece of paper, and loop the paper thru the key chain ring or clip. And you’re done!

How can we use this tool as a family?

We suggest using this tool at a set time each day with your children. For example, you could use it to review your child’s emotions prior to a certain activity — like going to the grocery store. This can help you, and your child plan and prepare for the activity together.

Parents can also ask specific questions like, “If you are blue (happy) what can you do to make good choices? Or if you’re orange (frustrated) how can you use your words to let me know?” Regular conversations discussing emotions and outlining plans to manage their emotions.

Self-monitoring tools like this is just one example of resources we use in our BIST program for educators. The BIST model is a philosophy of teaching and protecting students by providing both grace and accountability. It provides teachers with a problem-solving model, and it includes specific interventions to teach students to manage their own behavior. The primary goal is to empower students by providing them with the skills necessary to be successful in the classroom. Read how one teacher uses the Emotion Color Wheel in her classroom.