Calming Down When Things Go Wrong

Things don’t always go the way we expect or want them to. Your child or student may be having a good day at school until something makes them upset. Perhaps they didn’t get chosen to lead the line or were feeling upset that they got tagged out at recess.

Teaching your child or student self-calming techniques can help them adapt to unexpected outcomes and learn to regulate their emotions.

Try teaching them a few of these calming techniques to use when they get upset:

  • Take 5 slow, deep breaths in and out
  • Close your eyes and count slowly to 10
  • Squeeze a ball or stuffed toy
  • Ask an adult for a break or to get a drink of water

Instead of reacting in the moment with frustration or disappointment, these self-calming techniques can help them through the initial rush of emotion and help them calm down.

These are also great techniques that your child or student can share when they see their friend or classmate get upset.Check out our social skills learning module on this topic which includes a prepared PowerPoint presentation outlining the calming techniques, as well as activities and homework assignments, mini-schedules, and magnet cards that can be laminated and used as a reminder for your student or child!

The special education resources on this page were authored by Watson Institute’s special education consultants and faculty.

Powerpoint Presentation:

Calming Down When Things Go Wrong

Calming Down When Things Go Wrong Facilitator’s Guide

Resource Materials:

Calming Down When Things Go Wrong Activity

Calming Down When Things Go Wrong Homework Sheet

Calming Down When Things Go Wrong Magnets

Calming Down When Things Go Wrong Mini Schedule

Calming Down When Things Go Wrong Outline

Calming Down When Things Go Wrong Parent Note

Calming Down When Things Go Wrong Teacher Note

Pre/Post Assessment

A pre and post lesson assessment is included in each lesson. Use of the assessment is an instructor preference.  Many of the ‘homework’ pages for a lesson can be used as a pre/post assessment device alone or as part of the provided assessment.  Each homework page can be checked by the instructor as well as the student.

Review all included pages of the lesson to determine what ‘assessment’ method will meet your needs.  If the student is able to achieve a + in the majority of items of the pre-assessment, or if the student has been observed to display the skill topic of the lesson often, then the lesson may not be introduced or can be taught with a group as review and/or reinforcement.

Calming Down When Things Go Wrong Pre/Post Assessment

If you have questions or concerns about the Watson Institute’s use of this information, please contact us.