Zones of Regulation
Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it. - Charles Swindoll
Self-regulation is something everyone continually works on whether we realize we are or not. We all encounter trying circumstances that test our limits from time to time. If we are able to recognize when we are becoming less regulated, we are able to do something about it to manage our feelings and get ourselves to a healthy place. This comes naturally for some, but for others it is a skill that needs to be taught and practiced. This is the goal of The Zones of Regulation (or Zones for short).
Zones is a curriculum we use here at Bennet to help meet the needs of those students who may struggle to regulate emotions. In order for students to be successful in school, home, and the community they need the ability to control unexpected responses, read facial expressions, and recognize a broad range of emotions. Teaching students perspective taking, learning their own triggers, and having a toolbox of strategies that help to regulate their emotions better prepares them to be college and career ready.
The Blue Zone is used to describe low states of alertness and down feelings such as when one is sad, tired, sick, or bored.
The Green Zone is used to describe a calm state of alertness. A person may be described as happy, focused, content, or ready to learn when in the green zone. This is the zone where optimal learning occurs.
The Yellow Zone is used to describe a heightened state of alertness and elevated emotions; however, one has more control when they are in the yellow zone. A person may be experiencing stress, frustration, anxiety, excitement, silliness, the wiggles, or nervousness when in the yellow zone.
The Red Zone is used to describe extremely heightened states of alertness and intense emotions. A person may be elated or experiencing anger, range, explosive behaviors, devastation, or terror when in the red zone.
Zones teaches students that it is normal to feel different emotions; however, there are appropriate ways to react to our emotions. Zones give a foundation for solving problems in a calm and organized way. This prepares students for conflicts they will encounter throughout life. For more information about helping your child better regulate emotions, check out Zone of Regulation or Social Thinking online. There are many great resources to try out at home.