Emotions influence behavior. Part of growing up is learning how to manage our emotions and exercise self-control so that we can treat ourselves and others with respect. Seven-year-olds can articulate the difference between appropriate and inappropriate behaviors in home, school, and public settings. They can talk about how their behavior affects those around them, and this can inspire them to make good choices and exercise self-control.
Emotions & Self-Awareness Self-Control: How to Help Your Seven-Year-Old Make Responsible Choices
Help your child work through stress, anger, fear, and confusion:
Practice Cognitive Control
The area of the brain in charge of focus and attention and continues to grow into early adulthood. Encourage kids to read books, play games that require attention to detail, build complex block structures or jigsaw puzzles or practice a piece of music over and over again — these are all activities that will strengthen children's capacity for self-control.
Odd Squad agents take care of all sorts of creatures. Using math skills such as color and shape matching, fair shares and fractions, your child can help feed and care for these adorable creatures.Play This Game
Acknowledge When They Exercise Self-Control
When your child is tempted to respond one way but resists, acknowledge their self-control. This might sound like: "When your sister bumped into you, you were tempted to yell at her, but you stopped yourself! Good work!"
Change the Situation
A simple and effective strategy for self-control involves changing the situation to reduce temptation. For instance, if you're trying to eat nutritiously, not having sweets in the house makes it easier to make healthy choices. Teaching kids this strategy involves helping them thinking about in advance and what they could do to "change the situation." For example, ask them, "It sounds like sometimes you and your friend have a hard time settling down after recess. What could you do to change the situation?"
Teach Them Simple Strategies
Kids of every age sometimes feel overwhelmed by emotions or impulses, and they need simple tools that they can use to regain their equilibrium and make good choices. You can help children develop with similar simple, memorable strategies. If a child is struggling with a particular aggressive behavior, help them verbalize both what they can't do and what they can, such as, "When I'm mad, I can't yell or hit, but I can walk away, stomp my feet or squeeze my ball." You can also model the connection between mood and healthy eating, exercise and sleeping: "Sometimes when I'm frustrated, I eat a healthy snack or take a nap to help me feel better."
Help Your Child Manage Emotions with Arthur
Whether facing down a bully, worrying about a new teacher or being the very last person on earth to lose his baby teeth, Arthur and his friends manage to solve their crises with imagination, kindness and a lot of humor.Find Activities
Activity Finder: Learn With Your Seven-Year-Old
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Feeling Left Out
Brainstorming and role-playing how to cope with being left out can help prepare children for a time when they might be excluded from play.
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Martha Speaks Story Maker
In this app, your child can write and save eight adventure stories featuring Martha and her friends. Then, kids can play with the characters in the storybook while Martha reads.
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Does your child have a story idea for Arthur? Using the comic book creator, your child can write and illustrate a story with Arthur and his friends.