Dialectical Behavioral Therapy: Building Stronger Coping Skills for Kids Facing Challenges

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy: Building Stronger Coping Skills for Kids Facing Challenges

When it comes to helping children who struggle with ADHD, maladaptive behavior, or have experienced trauma, a therapeutic approach known as Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) can make a significant difference. Developed by psychologist Dr. Marsha M. Linehan, DBT is a special kind of therapy that combines helpful ideas from different places to help kids learn new ways to handle their feelings and behaviors. In this article, we will explore the essence of DBT, its core principles, and how it can positively impact the lives of children aged 5 to 15 who are facing these challenges.

Understanding the Core Principles of DBT:

  1. Finding Balance: DBT teaches children that life is full of different feelings and experiences. It’s important to find a balance between accepting how we feel and making positive changes. We can learn to understand and manage our emotions without getting overwhelmed.
  2. Mindful Moments: Mindfulness is a special skill that helps children focus on the present moment without worrying about the past or the future. By practicing mindfulness, children can become more aware of their thoughts and feelings, which can help them make better choices.
  3. Feelings Matter: DBT helps children learn how to understand and express their emotions in healthy ways. It teaches them techniques to manage big feelings and find calmness when they’re upset or angry.
  4. Building Connections: Relationships are important, and DBT teaches children how to communicate effectively and set boundaries. By learning how to express their needs and listen to others, children can build healthier and happier relationships.
  5. Facing Challenges: It’s normal to face tough situations in life, and DBT helps children develop skills to handle them in a positive way. By learning how to tolerate distressing moments and using healthy coping strategies, children can overcome challenges and feel more confident.

The Impact of DBT on Children’s Well-being:

  1. ADHD Support: DBT can help children with ADHD learn to manage their attention and impulses. By practicing mindfulness and developing strategies to regulate their emotions, children can improve their focus and feel more in control.
  2. Coping with Big Feelings: DBT provides children with tools to cope with strong emotions and regulate their behavior. By understanding their feelings and using techniques like deep breathing or taking a break, children can express themselves in healthier ways.
  3. Healing from Trauma: For children who have experienced trauma, DBT can provide a safe space to process their feelings. By learning skills to manage distress and build healthy relationships, children can begin to heal and regain their sense of security.
  4. Building Self-esteem: DBT helps children develop a positive self-image and believe in their abilities. By learning effective communication skills and setting boundaries, children can feel more confident and respected in their interactions with others.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy offers valuable tools for children facing challenges related to ADHD, maladaptive behavior, or trauma. By embracing the principles of DBT, children can learn to manage their emotions, develop healthier relationships, and overcome obstacles with resilience. With the support of DBT, children aged 5 to 15 can build stronger coping skills, find balance in their lives, and thrive as they grow.

Interested in learning more about how we can help? Click here to schedule a tour or connect with our team for more information!

Lexington Chamber Joins Forces with Aspire Day School to Commence an Unforgettable Open House!

Are you a caring Parent/Guardian seeking a nurturing and supportive learning environment for your child? Look no further! Aspire Day School is delighted to invite you to our much-anticipated Open House event on Tuesday, August 29th, from 10:30 am to 5:00 pm.

At Aspire Day School, we believe in providing an exceptional educational experience that not only fosters academic growth but also nurtures your child’s mental well-being. We understand the importance of a holistic approach to education, and we’re here to help your child thrive both academically and mentally.

During our Open House, you’ll have the incredible opportunity to explore our state-of-the-art facility, meet our dedicated and passionate staff, and discover our unique approach to education. We believe in shaping a brighter future together, and we can’t wait to embark on this journey with you and your child.

Located at 2628 Wilhite Ct, Lexington, KY 40503, our school is conveniently situated in the heart of Lexington. We are proud to be part of this vibrant community and are excited to welcome families from all walks of life.

The Commerce Lexington Inc. has graciously partnered with us to help commence our Grand Opening. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Commerce Lexington team for their support and dedication to our cause. Additionally, we would like to express our appreciation to Bayou Bluegrass Catering for providing delicious refreshments for the event. Together, let’s celebrate this momentous occasion and create lasting memories.

We would be thrilled to have you join us at our Open House. To learn more about Aspire Day School, please visit our website at https://aspiredayschool.org/. Our website is filled with valuable information about our curriculum, facilities, and the caring community we’ve built. We’re confident that you’ll be inspired by what you find.

Mark your calendars and save the date for this incredible opportunity to connect with our school community. We can’t wait to meet you, answer your questions, and share our passion for education with you and your child.

Our goal is to give students the tools to help them effectively transition back into their original learning environment.

We eagerly anticipate your presence at our Open House on August 29th, where dreams turn into reality.

See you soon at Aspire Day School Open House in Lexington, Kentucky!

Fall Enrollment is Open: Aspire Day School’s Radcliff Location Accepts Students 5-17 Years Old

Aspire Day School is proud to announce that our new school in Radcliff, KY is now accepting open admissions! Our unique approach to education integrates mental health and well-being into every aspect of learning, and we’re excited to welcome kids ages 5-17 who are looking for a supportive, inclusive environment to grow and thrive.

At Aspire Day School, our mission is to prioritize the success of our students by providing access to the necessary resources for a great learning environment. We believe that every child deserves to receive an education that is tailored to their individual needs, and we’re committed to providing that for each and every one of our students.

Our new school is located at 1635 W. Lincoln Trail Blvd Radcliff, KY 40160, and we’re excited to welcome families from all over the area to come and learn more about what we have to offer. If you’re interested in enrolling your child in Aspire Day School, or if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at 270-900-1136.

We’re also pleased to offer a referral link for your convenience, which you can use to explore the wide range of opportunities awaiting you at Aspire Day School.

We look forward to hearing from you soon, and we can’t wait to welcome your child to our new school in Radcliff, KY!

Aspire Day School Opens Radcliff Location

Aspire Day School is excited to announce the opening of a new location in Radcliff, KY. The new location will be at the former McKendree University campus and will provide a unique environment that integrates education with mental health.

Aspire Day School’s mission is to provide a safe, supportive, and nurturing learning environment for students who may be struggling with mental health issues. By collaborating with families and caregivers, Aspire Day School creates individualized plans for success for each student, addressing their specific needs and challenges.

The new Radcliff location will offer a range of services to support students, including academic instruction, counseling, and therapy. Aspire Day School recognizes that academic success is closely tied to mental health and well-being, and they strive to provide a comprehensive approach that addresses both aspects of a student’s life.

The Radcliff location will be staffed by a team of experienced professionals who are dedicated to helping students achieve their goals. Teachers, counselors, and therapists work together to create a supportive and nurturing environment that encourages students to reach their full potential.

Aspire Day School is committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for all students. They recognize that every student is unique, and they strive to create an environment that celebrates diversity and promotes understanding and acceptance.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues and needs support, Aspire Day School may be able to help.

Contact us today to learn more about their services and how they can help you or your loved one achieve success.

Aspire Day School’s First Meet the Team Night: A Success!

Aspire Day School’s First Meet the Team Night: A Success!

We would like to extend our sincerest thanks to everyone who attended our first-ever Meet the Team Night! It was a great success, and we are thrilled to have had the opportunity to connect with members of the community and share our vision for helping students with mental health and behavioral health needs.

At Aspire Day School, we believe that every student has the potential to excel, regardless of their background or the challenges they may face. We are committed to providing a safe and supportive environment where students can receive the care and support they need to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.

We know that this is only possible with the support of the community, and we were thrilled to see so many people attend our Meet the Team Night. It was a wonderful opportunity to share our vision and connect with members of the community who share our passion for helping students with mental health and behavioral health needs.

Our team believes that it is essential for members of the community to be connected with mental health and behavioral health services that can help students aspire to excellence.

We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to connect with members of the community and share our vision for helping students with mental health and behavioral health needs.

We believe that by working together, we can create a brighter future for all students, and we are committed to continuing our efforts to provide high-quality care and support to our students.

Interested in learning more about us? Click Here!

Tips for Creating a Mental Health-Centered Dynamic in Your Family

If you’re a parent interested in creating a mental health-centered dynamic in your family, here are a few tips:

  1. Encourage open communication: Encourage your children to talk about their feelings and emotions, and create a safe space where they feel comfortable sharing. Listen to them without judgment and validate their experiences.
  2. Model healthy behaviors: Model healthy behaviors and coping mechanisms, such as exercise, meditation, and self-care. This can help your children learn to manage stress and anxiety in healthy ways.
  3. Prioritize mental health: Make mental health a priority in your family by scheduling regular check-ins and appointments with mental health professionals. Encourage your children to take care of their mental health and seek help when needed.
  4. Educate yourself and your family: Educate yourself and your family about mental health and mental illness. This can help reduce stigma and increase understanding and empathy for those who may be struggling.
  5. Create a supportive environment: Create a supportive environment where your children feel loved, accepted, and supported. This can help them feel more resilient and better able to cope with life’s challenges.

By implementing these tips, you can help create a mental health-centered dynamic in your family that fosters open communication, healthy behaviors, and a supportive environment.

When families experience challenges and grow through them together, they become stronger and more resilient.

Family therapy can help families navigate difficult situations by providing a safe and supportive space to process grief, trauma, and separation. It can also help families develop healthy communication skills and learn to work together as a team.

Interested in learning how our teams collaborate with families to develop treatment plans that help your student succeed?

Email us for more information at [email protected] or give one of our locations a call!

Prioritizing Student Mental Health

Aspire Day School is the perfect place for students to get the support they need to thrive academically and mentally. 📚💡

With certified teachers and mental health professionals, we’re here to help you reach your full potential. ✨

🌈Acknowledging mental health needs is crucial to creating a bright future, and we’re here to help you every step of the way.

Interested in learning more about what our teams have to offer? Email us at [email protected]

Summer Enrichment Success

According to the RAND Corporation, students that participate in Summer learning opportunities that feature enrichment activities yield more academic success (2021). We are excited to present the community with an opportunity to enhance educational experiences for students!

The Aspire Day School Summer Program provides students with a therapeutic learning environment that encourages students to reach their true academic potential!

Summer Enrichment programs present an opportunity for students with learning gaps, or challenges, the opportunity to work with staff in pinpointing challenges and identifying solutions to encourage success for the approaching academic school year.

Enrollment is now open for our Summer Program! We accept most Medicaid plans and services are free if the child meets medical necessity.

Connect with us for more information at [email protected]

Ready to Enroll?! Click here

Summer Program is being offered in both Elizabethtown and Louisville, KY!

Give one of our offices a call for more information!

Louisville: 502-742-0061

Elizabethtown: 270-900-1136

How to Deal with your Child’s Behavioral Challenges 

20% of children in America experience behavioral and emotional challenges such as conduct disorder, anxiety, and depression. Children communicate their frustrations in varying ways, and taking a moment to pinpoint challenges as a team will create a positive environment that encourages positive actions at-home!

Understanding Mannerisms

The ABC technique  (Antecedent, Behavior, and Consequence) is one of the most effective ways of comprehending your child’s mannerisms.

Antecedent refers to what happens before an act.


If a child shouts, the antecedent may be that the child was denied a toy.

What follows is the behavior which is the action exhibited by the child in response to the antecedent. In the scenario mentioned above, the behavior is shouting. Consequence (C) is the result that can either reinforce or discourage the behavior. For instance, if the child’s shouting results in them getting the toy, they may continue doing so. (Lang, R., et al. (2009). If it results in them losing a privilege, they are less likely to behave that way in the future.

Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) is another excellent method of understanding your child’s character. It is a comprehensive assessment that aims to identify the purpose of a child’s behavior. It involves collecting information from multiple sources, such as parents, teachers, and therapists, for better understanding.

Strategies to Help with At-Home Outbursts

Before doing anything, take a deep breath and remain calm. The outbursts may be difficult at the moment, but things will get better!

A study published in Family Psychology’s Journal states that parental emotional regulation is associated with enhanced child behavior management. (Eisenberg, N., Cumberland,(1998).

Studies show that positive reinforcement is associated with a significant increase in desirable behavior in children (Eisenberg, N., Cumberland,(1998) . The analysis identifies that (a) parental reactions to children’s emotions, (b) socializers’ discussion of emotion, and (c) socializers’ expression of emotion each play a pivotal role in understanding the parental socialization of emotion.

Recognition of positive behavior is an appropriate response to the social environment creating the desired behaviors you may be seeking in times of outburst. Positive responses being presented after positive actions occur strengthens the likelihood of similar positive actions occurring in the future.

When Should Parents Seek Expert Help?

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry reports that about 80% of children with diagnosed mental health disorders do not receive adequate treatment. One in six children aged 2-8 years has a developmental, behavioral, or cognitive condition. Such cases can easily be handled with early intervention measures. 

If nothing seems to work, it may be time to call the experts. Parents should look for signs of increased aggression, persistent sadness, and anxiety. Professional intervention may also be needed if a child’s behavior interferes with their daily life, such as their ability to learn or participate in school.

Aspire Day School is here to help. We have many rehabilitative behavioral treatment programs for Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), Disruptive Disorders, Depression, Mood Disorders, Anxiety, and many other conditions. We create individualized treatment plans that attend to each student’s needs. 


  1. American Psychological Association. Children’s mental health.
  2. Healthline. What Is the ABC Model in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
  3. Taylor & Francis Online. (2009). Parental Socialization of Emotion.
  4. Nancy Eisenberg, Amanda Cumberland & Tracy L. Spinrad (1998) Parental Socialization of Emotion, Psychological Inquiry, 9:4, 241-273, DOI: 10.1207/s15327965pli0904_1

Everything You Need to Know About Positive Reinforcement

Studies show that over 4 in 10 students often feel sad and hopeless, and 29% experience poor mental health. This can be alleviated by integrating mental health with education. An excellent way of doing so is by embracing positive reinforcement. 

Understanding the Ins and Outs of Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a means of introducing a pleasant stimulus after a behavior. Frederic Skinner developed the technique under the operant conditioning theory. 

Skinner was an American behaviorist, author, social philosopher, and psychologist. The Hamilton College and Harvard University graduate worked as a researcher and professor in several institutions. His incredible research skills and experience fostered his contributions to psychology, specifically positive reinforcement. 

According to the principle, if someone is rewarded for doing something good, he/she is likely to repeat it, and the opposite is also true.

Positive Reinforcement Techniques that Work in Classrooms

  • Privileges 

Educators can grant students access to special treatment, like extra playing time, as positive reinforcement. 

  • Verbal praise 

This is a means of praising a person for doing well. 

  • Rewards 

Stickers and tiny toys can also be used as tangible prizes to uphold appropriate conduct.

  • Social reinforcement

Social reinforcement involves using positive social interactions, such as smiles, high fives, or peer praise, to reinforce desired behavior.

  • Intrinsic reinforcement

Intrinsic reinforcement is when a person finds the behavior to be inherently rewarding or enjoyable. 

For example, someone might enjoy playing a musical instrument simply because they find it to be a pleasurable experience

  • Social reinforcement

This involves using positive social interactions, such as smiles and high-fives, to reinforce desired behavior.

  • Prize Box

You can have a small container where you add trinkets from the dollar store for your students each time they behave well. This will help them develop good traits and stick with them.

  • Reward Punch Cards

At Aspire Day School, our students enjoy having reward punch cards that allow teachers to track positive behaviors and ultimately reward students when they have their punch cards fully completed.

  • Special Tokens

A token economy is introduced into a classroom so that when kids do the right thing, they receive a token that can be traded in for a gift. With such motivation, students will behave accordingly.

The Power of Positive Reinforcement on Kids’ Lives

When well-implemented, positive reinforcement can help kids overcome behavior challenges. This is because when they do well, they get rewarded, making them adhere to doing the right thing. Positive reinforcement is also vital in breaking learning barriers because students have a push to grasp content and pass tests.

Teachers can help build students’ self-esteem and confidence by rewarding them for positive habits. With this, they believe in themselves more and are willing to take on new challenges. 

When learners are positively reinforced, they feel valued for their contributions. This creates a more welcoming and inclusive learning environment.  

Positive Reinforcement at Aspire Day School

At Aspire Day School, we have centered our learning processes on positive reinforcement. We know when and how to encourage and reward good manners and impressive performances. With this, your child is always keen on making strides toward being an all-around great person.