Emotion Coaching

All staff at Clarendon are trained in using Emotion Coaching to ensure there is a consistent approach for working with children to help them understand their emotions and self-regulate.

Mrs Cairns is the Lead Practitioner for our school and attended a two day Emotion Coaching Training session in May 2022. Whole School training was delivered in school in September 2022 so that all staff became familiar with the Emotion Coaching approach. As a staff team, we learnt about the Neuroscience behind Emotion Coaching and how children’s brains develop as they mature into young adults. We are able to appreciate that children need secure attachments and positive relationships with adults in school; indeed, good relationships are at the heart of secure, happy children. Emotion Coaching training for parents is scheduled for November/December 2022 – please visit school if you are interested.

Assemblies for the academic year 2022/23 will focus on developing children’s emotional literacy. We strive to enable all children in our school to be emotionally intelligent and self-aware. When children are able to identify their feelings, they are in a better position to choose how to respond. Children also use colour monster zones of regulation during registration to help communicate their emotions. This helps staff to identify those children in need of a little additional nurture or time to talk through how they are feeling. Click below to see the different colour monsters!


Emotion Coaching

What is Emotion Coaching?

Emotion Coaching is all about:

  • Teaching the child ‘in the moment’ about the world of emotion
  • Supporting the development of strategies to deal with emotional ups and downs
  • Accepting all emotions as normal and valid
  • Using moments of both negative and positive behaviour as opportunities for teaching and reflecting
  • Building trusting and respectful relationships

Many children are unaware of their emotions, they just react with no thought. Emotion coaching aims to support children to become reflective; to notice when they are beginning to feel an emotion and to access the best response for them in that moment. In order to do this we need to train the children (coach them) to recognise how different emotions present physically in the body and through thought, action and behaviour.

Emotion coaching isn’t something that is ‘saved’ for dealing with moments of extreme negative behaviour or crisis. In fact, it is likely to be at it’s least effective at these points. Emotion coaching should be an ongoing process in order to support children to become independently mindful of their emotions and reactions. Emotion coaching can be effective when used before a child goes into crisis as a method of defusing the situation, it can also be effective as a reflective tool to use after the child has calmed down. Emotion coaching won’t work while children are in crisis mode, however, using it regularly should reduce the frequency of meltdowns and increase the child’s capability to manage any crisis moments independently.

Inappropriate behaviours are not condoned in Emotion Coaching and when the child is calmer, incidents are discussed in a more rational and productive manner.  The child is supported to problem solve and engage in solution-focused strategies.

Emotion Coaching seeks to lead children towards high self-esteem and self-discipline. Consequently, good discipline arises from positive relationships. We believe that self-esteem affects all thinking and behaviour and impacts on learning and performance.

The four steps to Emotion Coaching

1. Notice your child’s feelings and empathise
with them
Notice any judgements your child’s behaviour and
emotion cause in you. Remember not being picked
for a team is the same feeling as not getting that
job you applied for.

2. Label and validate the feeling your child is
experiencing right at this moment
‘I can see that you get angry when that happens.
I would feel angry if that happened to me. It’s ok
to feel angry’

3. Set limits (if needed)
Emotion Coaching is not about ignoring the fact
that some behaviours are not acceptable. After
steps 1&2 you need to make clear which
behaviours are and are not acceptable.
‘I understand you’re feeling really sad today, but
one of our golden rules is kindness, so hitting your
friend isn’t an ok thing to do’

4. Problem Solving
When the child is calm, help your child to consider
what they could do when they feel those strong
emotions next time. Explain why their behaviour
was inappropriate or hurtful, find solutions for
what they did, not for how they feel, give your
child time to suggest solutions and when possible
follow his/her lead in picking a solution.

Please read the leaflet below for more information:

Parent Emotion Coaching Brochure