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Here are some ways to apply Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) strategies to manage tantrums in children. You can help your child learn emotional regulation skills and coping mechanism.


  1. Mindfulness Techniques: Teach the child mindfulness techniques to help them become more aware of their emotions and bodily sensations. Encourage them to practice mindfulness exercises such as deep breathing, body scans, or focusing on their senses during moments of calm, so they can use these skills during tantrums to stay grounded and regulate their emotions.

  2. Emotion Regulation: Help the child identify and label their emotions. Teach them that all emotions are valid, but some are more difficult to handle than others. Teach the benefits of their positive emotions and consequents of negative emotions. Provide them with strategies to cope with intense emotions, such as taking a break, using relaxation techniques, quiet comforting room, or engaging in a favourite activity.

  3. Distress Tolerance: Teach the child distress tolerance skills to help them tolerate and cope with distressing situations without resorting to tantrums. This could include techniques such as self-soothing such as hugging their favourite blanket, or petting a pet or soft toy , distraction, or using positive self-talk to reframe the situation.

  4. Interpersonal Effectiveness: Help the child develop effective communication and problem-solving skills to express their needs and desires in a constructive manner. Teach them how to communicate assertively, problem solving, negotiate with others to resolve conflicts and prevent tantrums.

  5. Parent Coaching: Work with the child's caregivers to teach them DBT-based parenting strategies. Help parents validate their child's emotions, set boundaries and limits, and reinforce positive behavior. Encourage parents to model healthy coping mechanisms and provide consistent support and encouragement to their child.

  6. Create a Behaviour Plan: Collaborate with the child and their caregivers to develop a behavior plan that outlines specific strategies for managing tantrums. Include coping skills, de-escalation techniques, and consequences for both positive and negative behavior. Review and adjust the plan as needed based on the child's progress.

  7. Practice Validation: Validate the child's emotions by acknowledging their feelings without judgment or criticism. Let them know that it's okay to feel upset or frustrated, and help them identify the underlying causes of their emotions. Validating their experiences can help reduce the intensity of their tantrums and improve their emotional regulation skills.

  8. Role-Playing: Use role-playing exercises to practice coping skills and problem-solving strategies in simulated scenarios. This can help the child develop confidence in their ability to handle difficult situations and reduce the likelihood of tantrums occurring in real life.



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