Today I’m sharing a super simple, easy to remember trick to help you respond to challenging behaviors.  When your child is having a hard time, it is likely that he or she is feeling internally dysregulated.  That’s a fancy way of saying that something just doesn’t feel right for your child.  When this happens, children typically are not able to identify and communicate that experience in words so it is communicated in the form of challenging behaviors like whining, tantrums, aggression, or defiance.  As a parent or early learning professional, it can be really difficult to respond to these behaviors when we aren’t able to easily identify the root cause of the behavior.  However, using this simple trick will give you a great place to start.

Sad, thinking. Closeup portrait headshot depressed, alone, tired child resting head on fist isolated grey wall background. Negative human emotion face expression feeling life perception body language

When you are starting to feel overwhelmed by challenging behavior, remember to HALT.  HALT stands for:

HUNGRY

ANGRY 

LONELY 

TIRED

When your child is experiencing any of these four things, they are likely to become dysregulated, resulting in challenging behavior.  By HALTing and reflecting on whether any of these issues need to be addressed, you can help your child re-regulate their internal experience, allowing them to access their rational brain more effectively.  This will lead to decreased negative behavior and increased cooperation, communication, and ability to regulate emotions.

Want to have a reminder to HALT on your refrigerator?  Click here to download your free HALT reminder!

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