Picture Books about Self-Management and Self-Control

34 of the Best Children’s Books on Self-Management

Self-management helps students recognise how different situations influence their behaviour, emotions and judgments enabling them to respond in constructive ways. These picture books will support your students in understanding the importance of self-management.

34 Children’s Books on Self-Management


Self-management builds on from social awareness. It helps students recognise how different situations influence their behaviour, emotions and judgments. This recognition allows children to respond in constructive ways and regulate their emotions in demanding situations. 

Study skills is another important area of self-management. This includes time management, organisation, and planning. Like with many skills these need to be developed over time. Most young children will not arrive in your classroom with effective study skills.

Characteristics of Self-Management

Students prepared to self-manage are self-motivated, organised and show perseverance. The characteristics, which will exhibit in different ways depending on their age and experiences, include:

  • Manage and control emotions, thoughts, and behaviour in different situations
  • Understand why they feel the way they do
  • Use appropriate strategies for impulse control and regulating emotions
  • Promote perseverance in personal and academic life
  • Uses stress management techniques, such as mindfulness
  • Motivating themselves to persevere in overcoming challenges
  • Understand they need time and motivation to accomplish goals and challenges
  • Understand that failure or mistakes are a chance to learn and improve
  • Set goals, both personal and academic, and work towards them
  • Assess where they are at and create new targets
  • Develop organisational skills and stick to routines

In another post, Managing Emotions with Self-Management Skills & Resources, I have put together books with resources, short videos and online resources.

Books on Self-Management

In these picture books, you will find characters who illustrate the benefits of self-management by showing:

  • Improved confidence and self-esteem
  • Increased motivation and enthusiasm
  • Increased ability to set and achieve goals
  • Improved study skills and academic performance
  • Having pride and confidence in achievements
  • Understanding that meeting goals and challenges is not always easy

My Father's Arms Are A Boat by Stein Erik Lunde

A grieving boy looks to his father for comfort. His father answers questions about when will his mother wake up. As they walking into a snowy night the father reassure his worried son as he holds him close. Reinforces the themes of bereavement, self-management, fears and resilience.

Self-Management Discussion Questions

  • What strategies do you use to self-manage your emotions or behaviour?
  • What makes it difficult for you (or others) to self-manage?
  • How could self-management have a positive impact on your life?
  • How can you help others manage their behaviour or emotions?
  • Why do you think [character] struggled to control their emotions?
  • If [character] had managed their emotions/behaviour who do you think the outcome would have been?
  • What could [character] do to manage their emotions/behaviour?
  • Why was it important that [character] persevered during [task/event]?
  • What strategies could [character] have used to manage their stress?
  • How do you think [character] managed to overcome their challenges?
  • Do you think it was appropriate for [character] to get angry? What would have been a better strategy?
  • Why do you think [character] got so angry/jealous/upset?
  • What would be a good strategy to help [character] deal with their emotions?
  • What could [character] learn from their mistakes?

What Next?

Students prepared to self-manage are self-motivated, organised and show perseverance. These are definitely traits we would love to see in all our students. How do you support your student’s ability to self-management?

You can find a round-up of social awareness information and videos in the post Managing Emotions with Self-Management Skills & Resources.

Further Reading

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34 Children’s Books on Self-Management

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