ResilientKids™ Teacher Guide

Self-Management & Responsible Decision Making

This section defines the key concepts covered in this chapter. These are the central themes upon which the activities are based.


Perseverance is a character trait shown to serve children well in the future. Whether this means working through a complicated math problem or not dropping out of high school, or developing staying-power in the face of adversity, is an important skill that can be taught.


Developing an intrinsic drive requires skills such as open-mindedness, focus, and the ability to shift perspective. By looking internally for the source of that motivation, we can reconnect with our resilience and manage curve balls or setbacks along the way.


Once we connect with our motivation, then we can turn our attention to the effort required for everything we do. Students will learn about the quality of their effort, applying focus and perseverance while remaining caring and compassionate toward themselves and others. This requires a fine balance, clear perspective and a level of comfort amidst the discomfort.


Assimilating new ideas and information into our view of the world enriches the way we experience life. It can also prove difficult when the new information challenges mindsets or beliefs we have held for a long time. A willingness to be open to new ideas requires students to use their curiosity, perspective-taking, self-awareness, listening and empathy skills, all of which are strengthened through the practice of mindfulness.


It is well-documented that the brain and the body are connected. Introducing an age-appropriate neuroscience lesson into this chapter is intended to provide young learners with an early understanding of how the brain is strengthened by all the activities they have done to date in classes with Center for Resilience.

Using the hand-model of the brain developed by Dr. Dan Siegel, a clinical psychiatrist at UCLA, students will learn to label the parts of the brain that are most positively impacted through this work and better understand what happens when you "flip your lid."  Naming this emotional overload helps students become more aware of when they are about to “flip their lid" and what tools and resources available to them that they have learned through the Digital ResilientKidsTM curriculum.

This section offers direction as to where the program is headed in this chapter and some notes about things to look for in your students as you answer the reflection questions at the end of Chapter 4.


Not acting on impulse is foundational to self-management and responsible decision-making. Learning to insert a momentary pause in between stimulus and response is a life-skill that requires self-awareness and practice. Something as simple as taking a breath before starting the next task, turning the page of the book or starting standardized testing can help develop this skill.


Kids are told all day long to “pay attention” but never actually taught how to do this! The skill of focusing includes elements of listening (with your whole body), concentrating, and remembering, all of which are enhanced when staying present in the moment. In these lessons, students strengthen their “concentration muscle” just as they build their physical muscles in physical education class. This provides students with multiple tools they can use to manage their attention, ultimately increasing learning-readiness.


We are presented with choices all day long. By building upon students’ self-knowledge, self-trust and self-confidence, they will more innately look inward to make more intentional decisions or offer skillful responses. No matter the age, how students interact with peers, choose language in-person or on social media, or respond to peer-pressure, the influences among kids are strong. When students are confident in their ability to stand up for what is right, they become less susceptible to the influences all around them.


One way students learn to believe in themselves is by setting goals, initiating action and reflecting on the process. Each of these elements requires students to take skillful initiative, respond to constraints and conditions, enlist creative problem-solving skills and call upon their self-knowledge and self-trust. These all lead to students feeling empowered and confident.


Knowing that emotions influence our behaviors and the behaviors of those around us, both positively and negatively, emotional intelligence is an important skill to learn early in life. At this stage, the first step is to become aware of feelings and emotions as the foundation for building strong social connections and recognizing behaviors.

The questions on the Chapter 3 Teacher Reflection Form are listed below so you can keep them in the back of your mind as you progress through the chapter.

1. Do students show impulse control?

A. If yes, how have you seen this demonstrated by your students?

B. If no, what was missing or prevented them from being able to do this?

2. Do students show focus?

A. If yes, which of the following practices has helped with this?

B. If no, what was missing or prevented them from being able to do this?

3. Do students recognize moments where they're making intentional choices?

A. If yes, how have you seen this demonstrated by your students?

B. If no, what was missing or prevented them from being able to do this?

4. Do students return to previous activities that resonate with them?

A. If yes, how have you seen this happening?

B. If no, what prevented students from understanding this?

5. Are students aware of feelings and emotions?

A. If yes, describe a time when you observed this in your students.

B. If no, what was missing or prevented them from building this awareness?

6. Do students approach new information or situations with open-mindedness, care and compassion?

A. If yes, which do they show most frequently?

    • Curiosity
    • Perspective-taking
    • Self-awareness
    • Empathy
    • Self-trust
    • Self-knowledge
    • Confidence
    • Other

B. If no, what was missing or prevented them from doing this?

7. Do students have a beginning understanding of how their brain works?

A. If yes, how have you seen this demonstrated by your students?

B. If no, what was missing or prevented them from understanding this?

8. Please use this box to provide any additional information you would like us to know.

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