Becky is Acorn’s Early Years Manager alongside her other roles as a Trainer and Consultant. With over 20 years’ experience in the Early Years sector, in which she has gained experience in various roles, including Nursery Management, Chairperson of the Milton Keynes Childminding Association, and running her own childcare business that achieved two consecutive ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted grades, before closing her business to become a full-time trainer and consultant. Becky also writes bespoke Early Years training courses. Becky has a passion and expertise in Enabling Environments and Children’s Behaviour.

 Supporting Children’s Emotions and Behaviour

When children experience overwhelming feelings of upset, stress, anxiety or threat, they may struggle to control their emotional responses and behaviour, therefore responding in a fight, flight or freeze mode - the brain’s natural response to danger. When a child enters this emotional state – effectively losing control of parts of the brain that control emotions and make logical decisions – they become dysregulated, which is often described as a “tantrum” or “meltdown”. When dysregulated, some children may respond differently than others and behave in a way that is often described as “challenging”.

Children who respond in a fight mode may use physical action or exert a raised tone – displaying behaviours such as hitting, throwing toys, biting, screaming or crying.

Children responding in flight mode may try to run away from the situation and hide, become restless or fidget.

Children responding in a freeze mode may seem like they are in shock and stand still, become withdrawn, cry, or refuse to move from a place where they may feel safe.

All children deserve to be respected and valued as unique individuals, regardless of how they may respond to a situation or feeling.  It is important that adults tune in to how children feel, what they are thinking and how they are feeling in that moment.  There are many reasons why a child may become dysregulated, otherwise known as a “meltdown”, when they lose control over their behaviour and emotions. It is important for adults to understand what they can do to help, by sensitively connecting with children and supporting them by using effective co-regulation strategies. These strategies are life skills for children, equipping them with the tools and awareness they need to be able to regain a sense of calm and security, otherwise known as self-regulation.

Becky has contributed towards developing a free app with Dr Mine Conkbayir, an Early Years Trainer, Consultant and Author. This app was designed to help parents, foster carers, early years professionals and teachers, to access effective strategies to help young children and teenagers to manage their emotions. Acorn are excited to welcome you to look and try some of the different strategies shown in the app.

This free self-regulation app has won the five-star gold award in the Happy and Healthy category of the Teach Early Years Awards.  

This app is available on Google play in 109 languages and via