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How to teach a child who acts on impulse


Parents who often observe an un usual impulsive and ill behavior of their child has a big problem in their hands. These parents would want to control the shameful behavior of their child who often makes a commotion not only at home but also in school and other places where he plays with other children. This child, for instance, just suddenly grabs a ball or any toy that belongs to another child or just boxes an innocent classmate on the ground that he feels thwarted. In another instance, this child blurts out a ludicrous answer to questions before his teacher has finished asking them.

This impulsive behavior is more common in boys than girls and more obvious in some kids than others. Child authorities claim that this appears to be at the mercy of their instincts. They say whatever comes to mind, act out their angry feelings and take the consequence of their dangerous acting-out. The impulsive child is unaware of his bad behavior.

The good news is that there are ways or steps parents can take if your child’s impulsive behavior is posing a repeated problem and the ideal time to start is when your child begins kindergarten or first grade.

Toddlers lack the mental capacity to understand why they snatch a playmate’s toy which is not a good idea. By the age of five or six, however, children have the cognitive ability to think in concrete terms about the possible consequences of their behavior.

Making this adjust ment is difficult for children who are naturally impulsive because so often they act without thinking. But you can help an impulsive child anticipate the fallout of his actions. “By rehearsing a scenario in advance with your child,” says psychologist Charles E. Schaefer, Ph. D., coauthor of How To Help Children with Common Problems. “You are giving him much needed practice in contemplating his options.” For example, in a calm moment, discuss questions such as, “How do you imagine your classmate will feel if you suddenly snatch the toy out of his hands while playing?”

When you talk to your child about what went wrong, keep in mind that “I told you so” sermons are not likely to be helpful. Instead review the episode with your child and talk about how it might have gone differently. Let him realize it. Reinforce reflective good behavior and reminders, and give him psychological rewards, like praising him for it “That’s great!” “Keep it up!”