Are Children More Emotionally-Dysregulated Post Covid?

Posted on June 6th, 2023

You know that feeling when you witness a frazzled mom in the grocery store, desperately trying to reason with her crying children while emotions run high? We've all been there, either as the mom or as empathetic observers. As moms and individuals with ADHD ourselves, we can confess that we've been "those moms" more times than we'd like to admit. The challenges of regulating emotions, especially for our children who are neurodivergent thinkers like ours, are a shared experience.

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented changes and challenges to our lives, especially for children. The disruption of routines, extended periods of social isolation, and increased stress have undoubtedly had an impact on their emotional well-being. As parents and educators, it is essential for us to understand the implications of these changes and provide the necessary support to help our children navigate through these emotions and thrive.

Post Covid Concerns

As experienced teachers for over two decades, we've witnessed firsthand how big emotions can impact children's ability to process and learn. Post Covid, a wave of new buzzwords, tools, and techniques has flooded the educational scene. Social and emotional learning, self-regulation, mindfulness, fidgets, brain breaks, sensory halls and walls, calming corners, and coping strategies have taken center stage. Finally, the spotlight is on our children's mental health, helping them recognize their feelings, express themselves appropriately, and develop strategies to navigate emotional challenges.

The pandemic has disrupted the stability and predictability that children rely on for emotional well-being. It has heightened anxieties, fear, and uncertainty, which can manifest as emotional dysregulation. Children may find it difficult to cope with their emotions, resulting in behavioral outbursts, meltdowns, or difficulty focusing in academic settings. As educators, it is crucial for us to create an environment that supports the emotional needs of our students and equips them with the tools to regulate their emotions effectively.

The Long Road to Writing a Book

As reading intervention specialists, we saw how crucial it was for struggling learners to have a safe and supportive environment. Traditional classroom setups often fell short in addressing the diverse needs of students. This realization prompted us to think outside the box and explore alternative approaches to support their emotional well-being. With grants and the support of our school administration, we transformed our classrooms into kinesthetic spaces, providing opportunities for movement and sensory stimulation while learning. It was a game-changer. We noticed that when students had the space and freedom to express their emotions and release their energy, they were better able to focus on their academic tasks.

Through our experiences, we came to understand that conquering emotions was the first step in helping students learn to read. Emotional dysregulation could hinder their ability to engage with educational materials and impede their progress. We saw a need for resources that explicitly addressed emotional regulation in a way that resonated with children. It was this realization that inspired us to embark on a new journey - writing a book that would empower children to navigate their emotions and develop effective coping strategies.

Empowering Through Advocacy

Our journey of advocating for our own children and students led us to explore educational advocacy as a profession. We recognized that advocating for the unique needs of neurodivergent learners was not only important for our own children but for the larger community as well. We enrolled in the NSEAI's Educational Advocacy Program, where we gained the knowledge and confidence to become effective advocates. The program equipped us with a deep understanding of educational laws, policies, and practices, enabling us to navigate the complex landscape of educational systems and secure the necessary support for neurodivergent learners.

Alongside our advocacy work, we embarked on a personal project that had been on our bucket list for years - creating a children's book. We wanted to create a resource that not only empowered children but also served as a tool for parents, educators, and therapists to facilitate discussions about emotions and coping strategies. We drew on our experiences as educators and parents, as well as our expertise in reading intervention, to develop a book that would make a positive impact on the lives of children.

The Calming Me Coping Strategies Coloring Book

Instead of a traditional chapter book, we decided to create a simple and relaxing coloring book for elementary students. We recognized that coloring could be a calming and therapeutic activity for children, allowing them to engage with their emotions in a non-threatening way. The Calming Me Coping Strategies Coloring Book is designed to teach effective and enjoyable coping strategies that help children self-regulate their emotions.

Each coloring page features a specific coping technique and a large design to color. As children engage in the coloring process, they are encouraged to reflect on their emotions and the coping strategies they can employ to regulate those emotions. The book offers a wide range of coping options, such as deep breathing exercises, visualization techniques, and progressive muscle relaxation. By engaging in these activities, children develop self-awareness, emotional resilience, and a sense of control over their feelings.

The Calming Me Coping Strategies Coloring Book also serves as a reminder for parents, teachers, and clinicians to choose calming coping strategies when needed. It reinforces the importance of creating a supportive environment that nurtures positive social and emotional development. By incorporating these strategies into daily routines and interactions, we can help children develop the skills necessary to navigate their emotions successfully.

Positive Feedback and Beyond

The response to the Calming Me Coping Strategies Coloring Book has exceeded our expectations. Parents, teachers, and therapists have praised the book for its effectiveness in helping children manage their emotions. The book has been well-received by the educational community, and we've been invited to write a blog for the NSEAI and join their advisory board committee after earning our board certification. We are grateful for the opportunity to share our expertise and contribute to the ongoing conversation about children's mental health and well-being.

We are excited to have two upcoming book signings where we can connect with readers, share our journey, and gather valuable feedback. These events provide a platform for us to engage with the community and continue the dialogue on empowering children to navigate their emotions. We are committed to making a difference in the lives of children and fostering their emotional well-being.


As we navigate the post-pandemic world, it is heartening to see school districts prioritize children's mental health. The recognition of the importance of emotional well-being in academic success is a significant step forward. By providing lessons, strategies, and tools to help children manage their emotions, we create an environment where they can thrive academically and socially.

The Calming Me Coping Strategies Coloring Book is our small contribution to this movement. We believe that by equipping children with effective coping strategies and fostering their emotional regulation, we can bring calmness and joy to their lives. No more stressful grocery store moments in the checkout line. We invite you to explore the book and join us in this journey of empowering our children to navigate their emotions and advocate for themselves.

Let's continue this journey together, fostering happier and more resilient individuals. To learn more about our Educational Advocacy Resources and how we can support you and your child, please get in touch with us at (609) 306-4759 or via email at [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you.

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We are here to support you and your child on your educational advocacy journey. Whether you have questions, need guidance, or are ready to take the next steps in advocating for your child's rights, our team at Wings to Learning Advocacy LLC is just a phone call or email away.