3rd Grade Self-Management

Self-management is the ability to control your actions and emotions, and being able to recognize emotions is a key building block of self-management. It is a social-emotional skill that is associated with academic success. Self-management also covers skills like impulse control, goal-setting, and perseverance. As your child develops more self-management, she will be better-able to handle  upsetting situations like being left out, losing a game, or being teased, which can all affect her classroom performance. Self-management will also help her handle high-pressure situations like taking a test or competing in sports. The ability to self-regulate and manage emotions and behaviors is constantly evolving, especially for children this age. You may notice that one day your child is able to calm herself easily, while on another day she may burst into tears over a similar upsetting event. Every child develops at her own pace and that pace can change daily. It is important for you to continue to support your child through her development and give her the tools to be successful even on days when she feels a bit off.

What Does Self-Management Look Like at This Age?
Your child should be able to recognize socially appropriate responses to emotions. For example, she should know that throwing a temper tantrum at the grocery store over which type of cereal she wants for breakfast is not an appropriate response to feeling disappointed. By 5th grade, your child should be able to reflect on possible consequences before expressing her emotions. 
Your child should be able to recognize ways she can deal with upsetting emotions. For example, she should have some ways to calm herself, whether it’s removing herself from an upsetting situation, taking deep breaths, or counting to 10 before moving forward. 
Your child should be able to identify how obstacles are overcome to achieve goals. This can be from personal experience, like when she learned to ride a bike without training wheels, or from examples in books or television shows. Your child should also be able to remember when she was successful and recall the ways she could apply what worked in that situation to future goals. For example, if your child improved her reading ability, she should realize that improvement happened because she spent more time practicing outside school. 

Tips to Support Self-Management

  1. Model Self-Regulation

    For example, if you find yourself on hold with customer service and feeling impatient, tell your child, “I really hate being on hold; it’s very annoying. But I’m going to take a few deep breaths and I’ll calm down.” Showing your child your self-control in the moment can be a powerful lesson. You can even work on those skills with your child when she’s not angry. Talking about coping skills like counting or taking deep breaths while she is calm will give your child practice and a skill she can turn to when she’s upset. You can also talk about the times you haven’t succeeded with your self-management to show your child that this is a learned skill that requires work.

  2. Help Your Child With Stress Management

    As your child ages, she may begin to feel stress as a result of more demanding coursework or the increased social pressures that come with the pre-teen years. You can help your child find ways to reduce stress. For example, if she’s worried about a test, there may be an opportunity to speak with the teacher beforehand or for her to study with a classmate. You may even want to explore physical exercise as a way to manage stress. Many people find simply walking or jogging a great stress release. Teacher Anne Harlam recommends children’s yoga as a fun way for children to relax. The next time your child seems stressed or upset, ask her to join you on a walk, or for a game of basketball, and see if getting her blood pumping also helps to distract her from stress.

  3. Ask Your Child to Help Around the House

    Ask your child to assist you with small tasks around the house, like setting the table or laying out clothes for school the next day. Discussing and following through on simple routines and tasks helps develop her self-management and goal-setting skills. It’s teaching order, organization and time management on a small level by having your child work through a set of tasks to complete a goal.

  4. Pay Attention to Your Child's Behavior

    New York City-based teacher Anne Harlam says your child may not always communicate her feelings, but her actions and behaviors may offer clues. For example, if you notice she gets stressed or acts out on days she has tests, sports practice, or music lessons, it means she feels more pressure in these situations than you knew. Noting possible causes of her stress or other emotions can help you find ways to help her manage those feelings.

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Self-management is the ability to control your actions and emotions, and also covers skills like impulse control, goal-setting, and perseverance. These featured topics will help you further understand the skills needed for self-management and how you can support your child’s success.

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