What To Do If You Think Your Child Has Impulsive Behavior


Life Style

Impulses are a normal part of human behavior, but it’s important to retain control over your response. Most people can effectively recognize and resist these feelings, but some people — including many kids — are more prone to struggle. Because of their limited life experience, children have less practice managing their behaviors, making them more susceptible to poor impulse control. For most kids, this is a normal problem that simply requires redirection to correct, but for some children, it poses a more serious problem. If your kid’s lack of impulse control puts them or others at risk, it may be time to look into medication for impulsive behavior.

Suggest Alternative Behaviors

Medication can be a helpful resource for supporting healthy behavior in children, but it should not be used as a standalone solution. Rather, it should always be accompanied by strategic guidance. Kids typically lack the knowledge necessary to fully understand the impact of their actions, so it’s the responsibility of the adults in their life to model good conduct. In addition to setting a good example, adults should explain exactly why impulse control is important. Remind kids that managing their behavior will help them make more friends, feel better about themself, and avoid unwanted outcomes.

This guidance should ultimately give kids a way to replace their problematic actions with better behavior. If a child’s poor impulse control causes them to yell, for example, you can prompt them to try breathing exercises instead. If they feel inclined to lash out physically, you should suggest another way to let out their feelings, like scribbling on paper. Combining this advice with the best ADHD medication for child with anxiety can give kids the tools they need to deal with their struggles and control their impulses more effectively.

Teach Them Coping Techniques

Poor impulse control is rarely the only problem a child experiences. More often than not, it is accompanied by or caused by other struggles, too. You may notice that your kid often experiences irritability or anxiety, for example, when they encounter certain stressors. There are many irritability causes and there are many poor impulse control causes, so it’s important to identify the triggers that may prompt unwanted behaviors. For kids, this may include interactions with authority figures or bullying by classmates. Initiate a discussion with your child to learn more about how they feel — and more importantly, why they feel that way.

With these insights, you can help them develop some strategies to more effectively cope with negative feelings and impulses. Coping mechanisms may include the aforementioned breathing exercises, or it may include assigning labels to feelings. Teaching practical problem-solving skills is also an effective approach. When kids understand that there is more than one way to solve a problem, they may be less inclined to submit to their impulses. Equipping your kid with an array of tools to handle their feelings is ultimately the objective, and with the right guidance and medication, you can help your child achieve this.