Impulsive Girl with cheeky face looking into camera

Children can be impulsive meaning that they don’t always tend to think before they act. They tend to just do it and then face the consequences afterwards. Lots of children are like this and this goes for saying silly things and upsetting a friend, doing something that hurts someone or just not considering that another person is busy so end up interrupting them.

There are so many different ways in which a child can be impulsive and some of those are good ways too – like an unexpected hug or a kiss or making something nice for you. Not all impulsiveness is bad.

What can you do when your child seems more impulsive than other children? The following tips are useful for all children – even those who have ADHD

6 Ways to Deal with Impulsive Behaviour

  • You can teach children about taking turns in conversations and not to interrupt. When they try and interrupt your conversation remind them they need to wait.
  • Help children be more appropriate in the kinds of things they say to other people. Share with them what is inappropriate and discuss how they would feel if someone said that to them.
  • Teach breathing exercises so when they feel impulsive they can calm down and get to think about what they are about to do.
  • Try and understand why they feel the need to rush into something without thinking it through. What is going in in their head? How else could they have approached it?
  • Notice when they think before they act if you are around.
  • Remind them of the consequences of acting without thinking and discuss if they think the ‘action’ is worth it.

There are some children that I work with who don’t have ADHD but just don’t stop to think and it gets them into lots of trouble. I have found that different strategies have worked with different children. The first step is finding out why they behave in this way so that you can work out which strategy will work best for them.

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