Zones For Parents

FAQ – The Zones Of Regulation

What is “The Zones of Regulation” Program?
The Zones of Regulation® is a way of teaching self-regulation developed by Leah Kuypers. Regulation is sometimes called: self-control, self-management, or impulse control.

How does an awareness of our energy and emotions affect our ability to self-regulate?
We focus on the state of alertness of both the body and emotions in specific situations. For example, when a student plays on the playground or in a competitive game, it is beneficial to have a higher state of alertness (level of energy). However, that same energy would not be appropriate in the library. The lessons and learning activities are designed to help the students recognize when they are in the different zones as well as learn how to use strategies (tools) to change or stay in the zone they are in.

What will students learn?
-a vocabulary of emotional terms
-the importance in reading facial expressions and body language
-perspective about how others see and react to their behaviour
-insight into events that trigger their behaviour
-calming and alerting strategies
-problem solving skills

How can I support my child?
Use the language and talk about the concepts of The Zones as they apply to you in a variety of environments. Make comments aloud so your child understands it is natural that we all experience the different zones and use strategies to control (or regulate) ourselves. For example, “This is really frustrating me and making me go into the Yellow Zone. I need to use a tool to calm down. I will take some deep breaths.”

Point out your observations as he/she moves from one zone to another. For example, “Your body looks like it is tired. You must be in the Blue Zone.”
Validate the zone your child is in and help her/him brainstorm expected ways to self-regulate so his/her behaviour is expected for that situation. For example, “You look very upset. Maybe you want to have some time to yourself while you calm down.”

Share with your child how his/her behaviour is affecting the zone you are in (as a parent) and how you feel.

Show interest in learning about your child’s triggers and Zones tools. Ask if he/she wants reminders to use these tools and discuss how you should present these reminders.

Make sure to positively reinforce your child for recognizing their zone and managing his/her behaviour while in it, rather than only pointing out when he/she is demonstrating unexpected behaviours.

It is important to note that everyone experiences all of the zones—the Red and Yellow Zones are not the “bad” or “naughty” zones. All of the zones are expected at one time or another. The Zones of Regulation is intended to be neutral and not communicate judgment.

How Can I Get More Information on the Zones?
Share this introduction story with your child:

Introduction to the Zones – Primary
Introduction to the Zones – Intermediate

Talk with your child’s teacher about the Zones lessons in the classroom.
Email me for more information about the Zones.

Teen Mental Health