Children often act without thinking, and many have moments of impulsivity when they say or do something before having an opportunity to consider the consequences.
They might shout out inappropriately or hit their sibling without warning.
This is normal behaviour for most children while they learn, but there are those who have consistently poor impulse control.
Fortunately, there are ways that parents, carers and teachers can help kids learn new skills to address it before eventually ‘growing out’ of such behaviours.
How does impulse control develop?
Impulse control develops in children over time and is influenced by a range of factors.
Most health professionals believe that a child’s biology, behaviour management and the parental guidance they receive are the key ones.
While the physiological aspects of a child cannot be controlled, as a parent or teacher you can guide them to effectively regulate behaviour.
How can you help your child to improve impulse control?
Make them more aware of their impulsive behaviour
Children must be held accountable for their actions and sometimes simply making them aware of their behaviour can encourage them to change. When they act impulsively, try bringing it to their attention to help them understand why an outburst was not an appropriate way to behave.
It is important, when highlighting behaviour to a child, that you do so in a calm and respectful manner so that you do not unnecessarily upset or negatively affect them. You must reinforce that the child is not the problem, rather the behaviour is and that they can learn from it.
It is however important to note that not all children will be receptive to this technique if they are struggling with an impulse control disorder, and may require more specialised tools.
Provide tools to cope
Children require tools to combat impulsive behaviours, particularly if they are dealing with an impulse control disorder. OurBoards React and Think board is an effective aid in helping children to regulate impulse control in a variety of different situations.
In those scenarios, they will need to act quickly or take a moment to decide on the appropriate response. You can use the React Think board as a guide. Children are naturally visual learners, which is why using a dry wipe board is ideal to encourage learning and to retain the response you both agree on.
Exhibiting patience can be hard for many children, particularly for those that struggle with poor impulse control. Be sure to acknowledge when your child is being patient and then reward them. It is important to understand that children want to do well, and want to behave in a way that achieves a positive outcome. As a result, they are more likely to exhibit this behaviour if they know what it looks like.
Taking the time to stop, breathe and be more mindful of their actions is a great way of improving impulse control in children. Teaching your child to take a moment to focus on their breathing when they feel an urge can dramatically improve their behaviour. It is also an effective technique for dealing with any sensations of anger or frustration they may be feeling and can show them a healthy way to manage those emotions.
Parents, carers, teachers and professionals have all reported a reduction in impulsive behaviours by using our React and Think board.
If you are interested in finding out more about how our dry wipe boards can aid in teaching children impulse control, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team today on .0161 635 6005