FIGHT FLIGHT FREEZE: Stress Response Behaviors In Kids Free Reference Poster


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This free reference poster describes the different stress response behaviors in kids.   Specifically, it highlights the Fight, Flight, or Freeze survival modes. Being able to recognize the different signals or signs when someone is in their “Protective Brain”, can help teachers, parents, and counselors to better respond to their students or children getting through the stress cycle.  When adults can recognize these behaviors, they can also better support children to return to their “Thoughtful Brain”.  Moreover, you can teach your kids about the different signs of fight, flight, and freeze, to help them recognize what is going on in their bodies, feelings, and mind, when they experience stress.

Great reminders to all those who are trying to cultivate trauma sensitive classroom or mindful family setting.


Fight, Flight, or Freeze Behaviors

For instance, this stress response behaviors in kids SEL handout highlights fight behaviors such as yelling, hitting, blaming, angry, and moving towards what feels threatening.  On the other hand, flight behaviors look like wanting to escape, unfocused, fidgety, anxious, and moving away from what feels threatening.  Lastly, freeze behaviors look like shutting down, being unresponsive, difficulty with completing tasks, zoned out, depressed, and feeling stuck.

These specific behaviors and signals also apply to teens and adults as well.

For a detailed lesson on the brain and stress response, be sure to check our Brave, Hardworking Brain lesson!  And to help children move through the stress cycle, be sure to download our free visual support poster.



This poster has proven extremely useful during behavioral meetings with teachers unfamiliar with the Stress Response. It’s a helpful reminder for me when dealing with challenging behaviors as well as for teachers new to the behavioral classroom.

-Daven V.

September 24, 2021, TPT Review 



This resource has been great! I use it all the time with my students in individual and small group sessions. I love how my students stayed engaged throughout this activity. They had fun and learned how to deal with their stressors.

-Meghan S.

September 15, 2021, TPT Review 



I thought this was a great resource. The students I had complete it seemed to enjoy it. I also really enjoy the colorful artwork.

-Kimberly P.

October 2, 2021, TPT Review