Parents learn to regulate emotions to help children

About a dozen parents at West Heights Elementary School will participate in a pilot project aimed at improving their emotional well-being

About a dozen parents at West Heights Elementary School will be participating in a pilot project aimed at improving their emotional well-being.

The goal is to ultimately teach children how to manage their emotions and improve their learning ability. By arming primary caregivers with skills to regulate their emotions, organizers are hoping their children will pick up on the strategy as well.

“This project is the start of a program to educate parents and students about how emotions work and how we can learn to manage them to enable us to be better learners, and to enjoy better health, both emotional and physiological,” said program founder Dr. Kathryn Patten, the outreach coordinator at SFU’s educational neuroscience laboratory.

Patten is a Mission resident who has taught in elementary and secondary schools, as well as at the university level for 34 years.

“I have long believed that curriculum has always addressed cognitive needs of students, but neglected emotive needs,” Patten explained. “Today’s world is increasingly more stressful and we do not teach our students how to manage emotion.”

Participants will learn about how emotions function in the brain and the body, identify emotion-releasing strategies, and develop new ones.

There are many strategies to regulate emotions, and research shows none of them are bad, but there are different ways to use them, said Patten, who completed her PhD in neuroscience and neuropsychology of emotion at SFU in 2008.

For example, when someone is anxious, agitated or afraid, they’re not at their best operating level and need to cognitively intervene in order to curb the emotion that will flood them. One method is to walk away, but you can’t do that all the time, said Patten.

It’s also not helpful to “beat yourself up,” she added.

“Focus on positive self talk. Negative self-talk is okay as long as it’s solution oriented.”

Parents who have volunteered for the program will attend one workshop every week for six weeks after school, followed by monthly support group meetings. Child care, snacks, and meals will be provided. The pilot project is being conducted by volunteers and an anonymous donor is supplying the meals and activities for the children.

Data collected from this project will help develop curriculum and delivery of future emotional literacy programs.

Patten has been conducting similar workshops since 2008 for students in alternative learning programs, and foster parents, but this is the first time it’s being done in the Mission school district.

The school board unanimously supported the program, which is set to begin this spring.

Just Posted

FVRD surveyed public opinion on cannabis production and processing in the electoral areas. Odour and distance from residential areas were the top concerns. (Black Press file)
Cannabis production and processing rules being drafted by Fraser Valley Regional District

Data from public opinion survey will be used to guide cannabis-related land use

Robert Nelson, 35, died after being stabbed at a homeless camp in Abbotsford on April 7 of this year.
Mom pleads for information about son’s killing at Abbotsford homeless camp

Robert Nelson, 35, described as ‘man who stood for justice, honour, respect’

Police arrest the suspect in an attempted armed bank robbery on June 2 at the Scotiabank at Gladwin Road and South Fraser Way in Abbotsford. (Photo by Garry Amyot)
Abbotsford bank robbery suspect who was stopped by customers faces more charges

Neil Simpson now faces total of eight charges, up from the initial two

Drop-in Covid vaccine clinic in Mission June 17-18

Neighbourhood clinics complement appointment-based clinics currently operating in Mission

Canadian Blood Service is adding additional donor clinics in Mission

New Sunday clinics begin June 20, donors can register online

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Most Read