In coping skills worksheets, students will sort coping strategies into “smart” and “not smart” columns.
When I need to calm down I go to the boxing gym, maybe have some wine, shirk my responsibilities and watch TV all afternoon, call my best friend, etc. As an adult, I’ve learned plenty of coping strategies that work for me when my emotions get too big.
Kids often don’t have these options, as their schedules and choices are usually dictated by teachers or parents. But there are some accessible strategies that students can use to calm down no matter where they are. They just need to know what they are and when to use them.
Since kids don’t have a lot of freedom at school, make a safe space in your room to cool down and make it clear to students that they are free to use it or use other strategies like walking away when they feel they are losing control of their emotions.
This printable will introduce students to smart coping skills for kids and help them identify which behaviors are not a smart way to calm down.
Bonus: for your kinesthetic learners, turn this into an active lesson! Label two buckets or waste bins SMART and NOT SMART, and write the coping skills for kids on pieces of paper. After students read the coping strategy, they should ball up the paper and shoot it into the corresponding bucket.