When a child is feeling afraid or vulnerable, they are often not able to self-regulate, especially if they’ve experienced trauma.

This is one of the best visuals I’ve found that explains the steps to support a child in emotional distress, especially in a preschool/school setting: Regulate; Relate; Reason. A child cannot learn or reason if they are struggling with strong emotions or physical fight or flight responses.

Taking time to help a child find calm and regulate, as well as then connecting with the child, are critical before a child can learn or listen.

If you’re looking for additional emotional and mental health supports, Greater Nashua Mental Health offers a broad range of services, including supports for young children with their caregivers. Visit this page for more information.

Photo Credit: Dr Bruce Perry, Beacon House.