#WeCare: For parents

             #WeCare: 30-minute e-course for parents                         

    Creating opportunities to develop  emotional intelligence in your child  

Parents will be provided with the following:

  1. Theoretical frameworks
  2. Interventions, tools and strategies

  3. Additional resources 

The anticipated result is for the parents to be able to assist their child with developing the ability to choose the right tools and strategies independently


©2017 Elitri  All Rights Reserved


This e-course is not for retail   



Emotional Intelligence

Building social emotional learning=Emotional Intelligence 

This is an experiential process that helps parents be the specialist for their child. The focus is to address areas in which your child may be lacking skills and work collaboratively to help solve problems at hand. Working on social emotional learning skills will help build emotional intelligence. The process involves parents sharing personal experiences and an openness of oneself in regards to feelings. The practice of working on yourself will provide you (parent) with intrinsic motivation, defined as exhibiting behaviours that are driven by internal rewards, a sense of mastery, autonomy, and purpose to give your child all the tools for them to display a positive change.

The following is a breakdown of the social emotional learning skills that build emotional intelligence.

  • Self-awareness 

    The ability to accurately recognize one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behaviour. The ability to accurately assess one’s own strengths and limitations, with a well-grounded sense of confidence, optimism, and a “growth mindset.”

    • Identifying emotions
    • Accurate self-perception
    • Recognizing strengths
    • Self-confidence
    • Self-efficacy
  • Self-management 

    The ability to successfully regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviours in different situations — effectively managing stress, controlling impulses, and motivating oneself. The ability to set and work toward personal and academic goals.

    • Impulse control
    • Stress management
    • Self-discipline
    • Self-motivation
    • Goal-setting
    • Organizational skills
  • Social awareness 

    The ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds and cultures. The ability to understand social and ethical norms for behaviour and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.

    • Perspective-taking
    • Empathy
    • Appreciating diversity
    • Respect for others
  • Relationship skills 

    The ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups. The ability to communicate clearly, listen well, cooperate with others, resist inappropriate social pressure, negotiate conflict constructively, and seek and offer help when needed.

    • Communication
    • Social engagement
    • Relationship-building
    • Teamwork
  • Responsible decision-making 

    The ability to make constructive choices about personal behaviour and social interactions based on ethical standards, safety concerns, and social norms. The realistic evaluation of consequences of various actions, and a consideration of the well-being of oneself and others.

    • Identifying problems
    • Analyzing situations
    • Solving problems
    • Evaluating
    • Reflecting
    • Ethical responsibility


Cognitive and social-emotional capabilities

The following is a description of cognitive and non-cognitive mental skills.

Executive functioning

Executive functions consist of several mental skills that help the brain organize and act on information. These skills enable people to plan, organize, remember things, prioritize, pay attention and get started on tasks. They also help people use information and experiences from the past to solve current problems.

If your child has executive functioning issues, any task requiring these skills could be a challenge. That could include doing a load of laundry or completing a school project. Having issues with executive functioning makes it difficult to:

  • Keep track of time
  • Make plans
  • Make sure work is finished on time
  • Multitask
  • Apply previously learned information to solve problems
  • Analyze ideas
  • Look for help or more information when it is needed

How Executive Functioning Works Another way to understand your child’s difficulties is to see how the process of executive functioning works. Here is an example of how the process works, broken down into six steps:

  1. Analyze a task. Figure out what needs to be done.
  2. Plan how to handle the task.
  3. Get organized. Break down the plan into a series of steps.
  4. Figure out how much time is needed to carry out the plan, and set aside the time.
  5. Make adjustments as needed
  6. Finish the task in the time allotted.

If executive functioning is working well and the task is fairly simple, the brain may go through these steps in a matter of seconds. If your child has weak executive skills, though, performing even a simple task can be challenging. Remembering a specific word may be as big a struggle as planning tomorrow’s schedule.

What skills are affected by executive functioning issues?

There are several key skills involved in executive function. But your child may not struggle with all of them to the same degree. Executive functioning skills include:

Impulse control: This is your child’s ability to stop and think before acting. Impulsivity can be a symptoms of ADHD. Kids who have trouble with impulse control may blurt things out. They may do unsafe things without thinking it through. They’re likely to rush through homework without checking it. They also may quit a chore halfway through to go hang out with friends as well as have trouble following rules consistently.

Emotional control: This is your child’s ability to identify and manage thier feelings by focusing on the end result or goal. Emotional control and impulse control are closely related. Kids who struggle with emotional control often have trouble accepting negative feedback. They also may overreact to little injustices. They may struggle to finish a task when something upsets them.

Cognitive flexibility: This is your child’s ability to roll with the punches and come up with new approaches when a plan fails. It is their capacity to quickly switch from one mental mode to another, such as switching from play to work or being focused when need-be. Kids who are inflexible think in very concrete ways. They don’t see other options or solutions. They find it difficult to change course. They may get panicked and frustrated when they’re asked to do so.

Working memory: This is your child’s ability to hold and manipulate new information in his/her mind and use it to complete a task. Kids who have weak working memory skills have trouble with multi-step tasks. They have a hard time remembering directions, taking notes or understanding something that has just been explained to them. If your child has trouble with working memory, you frequently may hear, “I forgot what I was going to say.” Kids who do not have a good working memory often need to be taken through steps one at a time.

Self-monitoring: This is your child’s ability to keep track of and evaluate their performance on regular tasks. Kids who have trouble self-monitoring lack self-awareness. They can’t tell if their strategies are working. They may not even realize they have strategies. They often don’t know how to check their own work.

Planning and prioritizing: This is your child’s ability to come up with the steps needed to reach a goal and to decide their order of importance. Kids with weak planning and prioritizing skills may not know how to start planning a project. They may be easily overwhelmed trying to break tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks. They may have trouble seeing the main idea.

Task initiation: This is your child’s ability to get started on something. Kids who struggle with this skill often have issues with planning and prioritizing too. Without having a plan for a task, it’s hard to know how to start. Kids with task initiation problems can come across as lazy or as simply procrastinating. However, often they are just so overwhelmed they freeze and do nothing.

Organization: This is your child’s ability to keep track of information and things. Kids with organizational issues are constantly losing or misplacing things. They can’t find a way to get organized even when there are negative consequences to being disorganized.

Attention: This is your child's cognitive ability to sustain concentration on a particular object, action, or thought, and doing so while managing other distractors in the environment. Kids who have trouble with attention have difficulties focusing on given tasks and are easily distracted. 

If your child has any or all of these issues, it may feel upsetting to both you and them. But there are strategies you can try at home to help your child learn to work around these weaknesses. Kids with mild to moderate weaknesses are able to compensate for them well enough to learn and complete everyday tasks.


There is a relationship between self-regulation and emotions (Bailey, 2011). According to Perry (2001) healthy self-regulation is related to the competency to tolerate the sensations of distress that accompany an unmet need. Self-regulation is the integrative process that comes about by allowing our unconscious emotions to become a conscious feeling. 

Self-regulation is the process through which children respond to their environment (Bronson, 2000). It is the ability to monitor and manage emotions, thoughts, and behaviors (McClelland, Ponitz, Messersmith, & Tominey, 2010). It's what helps children focus their attention on learning when they might be distracted by others, be upset by a problem, or excited about an upcoming event (Community for children, 2015). It refers to both the conscious and unconscious processes that allow us to regulate our thoughts, feelings and actions in the service of a goal (Bailey, 2013). 


Some benefits include:

  • Learning to have self-control: For children to be their own compass to guide them through their emotions. 
  • Being connected to themselves to govern their behaviours: Coaching children to be attuned to their distress and help them be able to put a pause between feelings and actions. Recognizing that distress is temporary and it will pass.
  • Seeing a problem as an opportunity to grow: How emotions are the bridge between the problem and its solution.   

Social emotional learning is related to self-regulation

Social emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions. It allows us to set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy towards others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions (CASEL, 2015). Children who can self-regulate have skills that help them manage their emotions, behaviours and interact successfully with others—all elements of social-emotional competence (CASEL, 2015).

Stress and Anxiety

What is anxiety?

Children with anxiety constantly worry about a number of different things. It can start to make them feel really bad and uncomfortable. They find it difficult to control their worry about certain things. They worry more than they should before particular events. They worry about events sometimes more than they should and think things will end badly without reason. 


Anxiety is when you have a lot of stuff going on in your head, and you overthink everything. Sometimes, it can keep you up at night or cause you to be tired all the time.[2]  It’s when you are worried about how things might turn out and you don’t know if you can do things the right way. Worrying too much is when you start thinking a lot about “what if”, and it starts to make you afraid of doing things like answering questions because you're afraid of getting the wrong answer. It can make you be afraid of doing things because of what could happen, like getting embarrassed.

Sometimes when someone has anxiety, it makes him or her feel jittery, on edge, and uncomfortable. It can make it hard to think clearly because there’s so much going on in their heads. They always have a feeling of being nervous.  


This feeling can become overwhelming for someone with anxiety, and it can make anxious people want to stop doing things or going places that make them feel that way.


What is stress?

            “Stress is what you feel when you are worried or uncomfortable about something. This worry in your mind can make your body feel bad. You may feel angry, frustrated, scared, or afraid which can give you a stomachache or a headache.


When you're stressed you may not feel like sleeping or eating, or you might sleep or eat too much. You also may feel cranky or have trouble paying attention at school and remembering things at home.”

            When a child feels stressed, they can sometimes have sweaty hands or feel butterflies in their stomach. Often it happens right before things like writing a test or giving an oral presentation. That’s good stress, because it can sometimes help them be prepared and it goes away after they’ve finished the task. Bad stress is when this worry lasts a long time, and doesn’t go away. They don’t feel well and sometimes it can make them sick or tired

Behaviours children exhibit when they feel stress or anxiety

  • Can be oppositional or aggressive leading to problems at school because they don’t know how to deal with anxiety,
  • Trouble sleeping in his own room or separating from his parents,
  • Avoidance of certain activities,
  • Attention or learning issues at school,
  • A behaviorally inhibited temperament
  • Excessive worry most days of the week, for weeks on end,
  • Trouble sleeping at night or sleepiness during the day,
  • Restlessness or fatigue during waking hours,
  • Trouble concentrating,
  • Irritability

Anxiety may look like this:

How is self-regulation needed to cope with stress and anxiety?


      Self-regulation is being able to identify and manage your own emotions. It’s okay to feel certain things, but we need to know what they mean and how we will be able to handle these kinds of emotions. Children with anxiety must be able to identify when they are feeling stressed or anxious, that way they can find ways to get out of that stressful place and go back to a calm place in their minds. Self-regulating can help by findings techniques to cope with anxiety when a child sees that they’re feeling that way.



Read and respond to the questions above. Keep notes for your own self-learning.


Tools and strategies

The Ruler method

The Ruler method develops emotional intelligence skills in children and the adults who are involved in their education at school, at home and in their communities.

Emotions matter: Emotions drive learning, decision-making, creativity, relationships, and health.

The Mood Meter helps students and educators become more aware of how their emotions change throughout the day and how their emotions affect their actions. 

** All feelings are important because feelings matter. ** 

The list of some emotions associated to each quadrant:

Red(High energy-Low pleasantness): Angry, frustrated, concerned, worried, scared, agitated, intimidated, aggravated, focussed

Blue(Low energy- Low pleasantness): Discouraged, sad, guilty, bored, tired, sick, mopey 

Green(Low energy- High pleasantness): Calm, zen, relaxed, , mindful, peaceful, mellow, tranquil, content, comfortable

Yellow (High energy- High pleasantness): Excited, wiggly, silly, fulfilled, empowered, exhilarated, upbeat, delighted, cheerful, happy


The Meta-Moment encourages both students and adults to pause and think before acting, asking themselves, “How would my ‘best self’ react in this situation? What strategy can I use so that my actions reflect my best self?”

The Blue print:

The Blueprint helps children solve problems collaboratively while building empathy.

The benefits of using the ruler method are as follows

  • Better school climate
  • Increased emotional intelligence
  • Decreased anxiety and depression
  • Reduced likelihood of bullying
  • Better leadership skills and attention. 

Mindfulness practice

How mindfulness is used for self-regulation

Jon Kabat-Zinn (1976), describes mindfulness as the quality of awareness (paying attention to one’s experience through the senses and the mind); of non-judgment (not labelling things “good” or “bad”, but rather observing with a neutral attitude); and of stillness in heart and mind (though the body may be moving). These are all important aspects that build self-relation for children and youth.




The benefits of using the mindfulness practice are as follows.

  • Mindfulness is good for the mind: Several studies have found that mindfulness increases positive emotions while reducing negative emotions and stress.
  • Mindfulness changes our brain: Research has found that it increases density of gray matter in brain regions linked to learning, memory, emotional regulation, and empathy.
  • Mindfulness helps us focus: Studies suggest that mindfulness helps us tune out distractions and improves our memory and attention skills.
  • Mindfulness is good for our spirit: Evidence suggests mindfulness reduces anger, hostility, and mood disturbances among children and youth.


4 Pillars of tools and strategies

The four pillars are grouped tools and strategies categorized by emotionally influenced forms of pro-active self-regulation. The pillars are labeled as: challenge, create, activate, and calm (see image below). 

Similar to the ruler method, the pillars are meant to provide children with a visual guide to situate their state of mind and respond to their feelings in a proactive way. With the mood meter, there are suggested types of learning activities that reflect each quadrant.  


Applying the Pillars

When using the pillars, the goal is to regulate emotions effectively in a way that children feel suits them best. The selected activities and tools in the quadrant are not the expected consequences of the identified feelings. For example, if a child is in the red quadrant of the mood meter (low energy and low pleasantness), it does not mean he or she needs to express themselves or relieve the emotion with the "challenging" tools and strategies such as creating a puzzle. The child can select the pillar(s) of preference. The pillars provide them with a visual to guide and situate their preferences to increase self-awareness in regards to self-regulation. Thus, when ready, they can self-regulate their own emotions throughout their daily lives independently. The end result is not for them to only be in the green (feeling: calm, relaxed, zen, etc), but to assist them to reach their desired feelings, to help them be in a place ready to learn. 

These strategies can be used universally, meaning, it could be used to reward the child when they have worked hard or to simply have them discover their interest in self-regulation.  It should not be used as a consequence to a crisis. In contrast, children should form their own mental tool box of strategies prior to crisis.

Tools and Strategies:

The following is a list of tools and strategies that can be used at home. This list is structured as the four pillars. Within these four pillars there are areas of focus:  technological (machine based software and hardware), tangible (hands on equipment that focuses on the students) and talkable (communication, relationship building).


Watch the video below that summarizes the four pillars:


Collaborative problem solving

The collaborative problem solving approach is a way to communicate with your child to help them solve problems. 

"Kids do well if they can" (Greene, 2013)

If a child cannot do well, then something is getting in their way. Behind most challenging behaviours a problem can be found. We need to figure out what actual skills the children are lacking and work as a team to solve the problem.

What can parents do?

  • Help your child stay regulated
  • Facilitate intrinsic motivation
  • Help your child communicate
  • Model empathy



Behaviour modification strategies that do not work:

  • Operant strategies: Motivates the compliant behaviour through incentives, consistent programs of rewards punishment and ignoring.

What is the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation:

  • Intrinsic: Sense of mastery, autonomy and purpose from within
  • Extrinsic: Means to an end dependent on external rewards or others, behaviours as a result of outside influences

“The more you motivate someone to do something the more you teach them they are not trying hard enough.”

“The more extrinsic motivation is applied ,the less intrinsic motivation occurs”

Have you heard these terms before?

Dead-End Explanations

“He is crazy” 
“He has ADHD” “She’s adopted” 
“He just wants attention” 
“She just wants her own way” “He just wants control” 
“He’s manipulative” 
“She has a mental illness” 
“He has a bad attitude” 
“She’s making bad choices”
 “He won’t cooperate” “He is lazy”

Rather than focusing on a label focus on the needs and the thinking skills the child may be lacking

Types of thinking skills:

Executive skills:

  • Define problems
  • Consider range of solutions
  • Anticipate likely outcome

Language processing skills:

  • Label, categorize and express emotions
  • Identify and articulate one’s needs
  • Solve problems through give and take

Emotional regulation skills:

  • Stay calm in the midst of frustration in order to think clearly
  • Regulate emotions throughout the day (outside the context of frustration)

Cognitive flexibility skills:

  • Skills that allow you to see the gray in situations or to go with the flow
  • Skills that allow you to interpret information accurately and see the “big picture”

  (Avoid overgeneralizing, personalizing, catastrophizing, etc.)

Social thinking skills:

Skills that allow you to interact successfully with others

“You can’t solve a behaviour. You can solve a problem leading to a behaviour.”

Communicating with your child is the first step.

There are different ways to communicate effectively.

Plan A: An imposing adult will:

 “Do it right now because I said so”

Goals being pursued: The expectations

Goals not being pursued: Reducing challenging behaviour, solving problems so they don’t keep coming up. Building skills, confidence, creating or restoring a helping relationship.


*******Plan B: Solve the problem collaboratively *********

  1. Empathy: Clarify the child's concern

Gather information to understand the child’s specific concern or perspective about the problem or issue.

“I noticed that” “It seems like” “It looks as if” ……..”What’s up?”

Make sure to provide reassurance:

“I’m not saying no” “I’m not saying you have to”“ I’m just trying to understand”

2.    Share the adult's concern

To make sure the adult’s concern/ perspective is put on the table.

“And the thing is” “And my concern is” “And what’s important to me is”

Clarify your concerns/ perspectives: Health, safety, learning, and impact of behaviours on others.

**If the child is not ready go back to empathy step. **

3.    Collaborate: Brainstorm, assess and choose solution

To brainstorm solutions together so as to address both concerns, assess them and choose one to try.

“I bet we can think of something that will work” “Do you have any ideas” “Lets think it through together”

Plan C: Drop it (for now, at least)


Special space

Special space 

Every child should have a special space to practice self-regulation strategies. A place to feel safe and comfortable to express themselves and go to when they need time to self-regulate. This place can be labelled as you wish. They should be allowed to go there voluntarily or it could be requested by an adult. Prior to using the space, children need to understand that the space is used for them to practice skills. Self-regulation skills can also be practiced on the spot, depending on the situation. Communicating with your child to help them understand how they self-regulated and solved the problem (collaborative problem solving) is a key component to helping the child.  


The special space can be used with or without an adult. It depends on the situation.

When to use the special space?

  • Learn new self-regulating skills
  • Calm down to be ready to talk about the issue

When NOT to use the special space?

  • As a way to avoid a situation

How long can I stay in the special space?

  • Depends 

What do I do when the my time is over?

  • I communicate about what happened with an adult go back to my work or play
  • Clean up

Here is an example of a calming space made for a school setting. You can create your very own  at home. 



 Think about your child and answer the following questions:


Additional Information

Additional resources

Developmental milestones:





Learning disabilities:



Oppositional defiant disorder:








Social communication disorder:





Technology use:




working memory: https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/learning-at-home/homework-study-skills/8-working-memory-boosters

Reading: http://www.readingrockets.org/audience/parents

Phonic awareness: http://www.starfall.com







Collaborative problem solving:


Social emotional learning:









Financial support: 





Backatt, M.A, Caruso, D.R, Stern. R.S. (2013) Emotionally intelligent schools: Ruler method. www.ruler.yale.edu

Bronson, M.B. 2000. Self-Regulation in Early Childhood: Nature and Nur- ture. New York: Guilford.

CASEL (2013). CASEL — Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning: What is Social Emotional Learning. retrieved from: http://www.casel.org .

Community for Children. (2015). Retrieved from:  http://www.cfchildren.org/second-step/social-emotional-learning/early-learning-self-regulation-skills

McClelland, M. M., Acock, A. C., & Morrison, F. J. (2006). The impact of kindergarten learning-related social skills on academic achievement at the end of elementary school. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 21, 471–490.

Wong, J.M.(2011). Meditation is good for the body. Retrieved from:  http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/research_digest/how_meditation_is_good_for_mind_and_body#how_mindfulness_helps_our_brains_focus

Image references:

Clipart (2011). Cipy frame. Retrieved from:


Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJkj0EEhhr0

Ocal (2007) Man sitting in a chair. Retrieved from: http://www.clker.com/clipart-2455.html

Chuck, E. (2011) Cheese will be testing the virtual reality headset Oculus Rift as part of the family restaurant chain’s birthday packages. (Photo : Creative Commons)

Van, E. 3000 (2008) Children's procession, beguinage of Lier, Flanders, Belgium

Nithi(2014)anandportraidofindianboy.Retrievedfrom: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nithiclicks/15920980069/in/photolist-qfTbGn-jAM3eh-9PjLoQ-gMGYn-6nu7gR-PDWpT-oPK86y-3mQJKg-53AEmY-ocbvEg-mCKsL-4iLMga-o2AQ7k-bn6Uc1-8VWWKz-p9ptRc-4DXVYT-brBawW-d6F1xC-585G72-6RFFu-6Z3qo8-pwRZpE-bCRemA-nUEzLR-tpkuM-nbrHvW-xF8sbK-49F2xw-az8LS-Hsgcd-8uYyJX-d3yiQE-qS33jQ-rN2xxo-bcqGzg-2DPJo-bBhLGk-7Bsju4-qpzJmX-2bojCJ-yyGnuh-8wcKZq-9q3aQD-dLaJv4-anyXUs-4kRSFb-vF4LR-gr2XJ8-5x6FiC

Bliwas,D.B.(2008)Rashawn.Retrievedfrom: https://www.flickr.com/photos/oneworldgallery/3119659084/in/photolist-5KF4XA-rmRzdM-xF8sbK-qjNfKA-9bQesr-dXCu7-dvRtG3-oNidbr-oNiqbu-oNiqgu-j6RBNX-p5NaLi-oNiq9W-b92GY6-4aBoNx-h4dd7Q-z8bh4Q-e3Uu1K-bDCoC4-5LhQtX-qMCYo3-qtNm2U-7UHqow-92Cjyo-uLQCVW-9nXyUo-7GQogm-rt1ZHm-bCZPZ2-DVRVJ-e5rm9G-7CeDbR-wG3HK3-Ak71zc-qisVh3-zfigkr-yTDWGp-pJPpcq-aLh7uH-oUaBYs-yyz8M2-fxXghn-voFdnm-9XxR3w-r9s7jP-oLDkLj-5jfuw1-645j1A-4m2vez-5TLkKT