The most effective way of treating Bipolar is with behavior skills.
Children move through behaviors in 3 stages: Antecedent, Behavior, and Consequences.
The antecedent is what happens before a specific behavior occurs. Knowing what causes a particular reaction allows a parent to teach their child what to do before the reaction occurs.
Behavior is when your child is misbehaving. Behaviors could be things like tantrum, hitting, lying, etc. Once the negative behavior is happening, it becomes harder to correct that act at the moment. Parents need to remain calm during this stage as losing their cool will only aggravate the situation.
The consequence is what happens after the behavior. Consequences should be given for negative behavior. A consequence is not a punishment. Punishments should not be given to children. Children and parents should work together to determine consequences for specific behavior.
Dealing with bipolar means understanding the principles of ABC’s of Behavior. Start by watching the skill lesson video. Make sure you know it before watching it with your child. Discuss with them the process of how behaviors get started. It may be helpful to record their thoughts and feelings.
Bipolar in kids means they experience extreme mood swings with highs and lows. Help them deal by creating a vocabulary to describe specific feelings. This can be unique to your family, or it can use familiar terms. Having a vocabulary will help them learn how to communicate openly about what they are feeling with you and others. If you need more help with communication, watch our Effective Communication skills video.
Set up a way for them to report how they are feeling with you. Many parents find having a specific day or time is helpful. For younger children, using a chart with faces to describe feelings will be beneficial.
Once your child can recognize how they are feeling, then you can work on how to respond to these feelings and positively regulate them.
For more help with Bipolar visit the Smarter Parenting website.