Zones of Regulation

Zones of Regulation
Posted on 09/01/2017

The Zones of Regulation a conceptual framework used to teach self-regulation

The Zones can be compared to a stoplight or traffic signs:

Green = good to go

Yellow = slow down, take caution

Red = stop and regain control

Blue = “pull over”, rest, recharge

The Red & Yellow Zones are not “bad” or “naughty”. Everyone experiences all of the zones at one time or another. Rather, individuals need to learn or use strategies and tools to help them move into the expected zone at any given time. The Zones of Regulation is intended to be neutral and non-judgemental in helping students to recognize their level of alertness and feelings.

You can support the program by doing the following:

  • Ask your child (students) about the four different zones and what they represent (blue, green, yellow, red)
  • Make comments aloud so that it is understood that 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.”
  • Help your child (students) gain awareness of his or her zones and feelings by pointing out your observations
  • Talk about what zone is “expected” in the situation or how a zone may have been “unexpected”
  • Share with your child (students) how his or her behavior is affecting the zone you are in and how you feel
  • Help your child (students) become comfortable using the language to communicate his or her feelings and needs by encouraging the child to share his or he zone with you
  • Show interest in learning about your child’s (student’s) triggers and Zones tools. Ask your child (student) if he or she wants reminders to use these tools and how you should present these reminders
  • Ask your child (student) to frequently share what he or she has learned
  • Make sure you frequently reinforce your child (student) for being in the expected zone rather than only pointing out when his or her zone is unexpected
  • Finally, 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.

We are looking forward to working with all of our students to help them develop increased self-awareness and varied techniques to maximize their wellness and learning at Katimavik. The implementation of this program is part of our School’s Well-Being Plan. Some additional information can be found at &

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the school!

Katimavik ES staff

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