Worried about your child’s impulsive behaviour? We advice you 11 ways to look into his reactions and ascertain the problems that he might be facing.
Impulsive behaviour is quite common in growing children as it is one of the most-common ways through which they express their emotions. Most preschoolers show varied signs of impulsive behaviour as at this tender age, their brain starts developing and responding to the world they interact with.
Impulsive behaviour in small children is related to their lack of control over emotions due to which, they show spontaneous reactions such as impatience to wait for their turn, rushing into activities and getting angry easily. Such behaviour normally occurs during situations where children are hungry, bored, feel lonely and ignored or when they do not get the attention they seek.
However, such behaviour should not be allowed to become a part of their personality because impulsive actions, if not controlled at an early age, can adversely affect their lives as well as their relationships with loved ones. Moreover, children who do not have control over their impulsive reactions may find it difficult to adjust to the social set-up in which they live, grow and become a part of. Such children are often cornered and disliked by other children of their age and even by adults because through impulsive reactions.
Since it is the parents who play a crucial role in shaping the personality of their children—as the little ones learn their first lessons of life from their parents—it is their responsibility to first identify the signs of impulsive behaviour in their children and then take suitable steps to control it.
Here are some remedial measures and techniques that you can adopt at home and make your little one calm down.
- Calm atmosphere at home: Maintain a loving and understanding atmosphere at home, where every family member shows respect for each other. Be very careful with your behaviour towards others in the family, especially in your child’s presence, as he may often pick up and imitate your actions.
- Give your child attention: Impulsive behaviour may sometimes occur because your child may not be getting the much-required parental attention. So, respond to him promptly whenever he comes up to you to say something. Your attention, combined with love, will be helpful in keeping your child on the right track and also in reducing his tendency to show impulsive behaviour.
- Talk to your child: Speak to your child to get a clear picture of what he feels whenever he shows impulsive reactions such as getting angry instantly, screaming, crying and feeling frustrated. In a polite way, ask him as to why he acts in that particular way and let him express himself freely. This way, you will be able to find out the problem areas and the situations that make him impulsive.
- Make your child understand: Make your child realise that impulsive reactions such as throwing or breaking his toys and screaming when angry, will not make him feel good later on, though it may give him some temporarily relief during a particular situation. Further, explain to him that such behaviour will create a bad impression about him in front of others.
- Observe your child: Monitor your child’s activities, behaviour and mood swings on any day to know how he behaves in different circumstances. For this, you need to keep a track of his activities in the daily routine such as studying, playing with his friends, watching television, dining with the family among other such things. Check how he reacts to different situations.
- Monitor the television time: Observe your child’s television-viewing time and take note of his favourite shows on TV. Even if it is a cartoon show, make sure that your child is not exposed to impulsive acts of violence on television, as he may get influenced easily and may even imitate such undesirable actions in real life circumstances.
- Assist your child in finishing tasks: At times, your child may lose temper and act impulsively due to his inability to accomplish the task in hand. So, to make things easier for him and to prevent impulsive actions, divide his work into smaller chunks so that he does his work easily, without losing patience.
- Reward good behaviour: Acknowledge your child’s efforts to control his impulsive behaviour through words of appreciation. Praise him whenever he waits for his turn patiently and whenever he regains his self-control. This positive reinforcement will motivate your child to repeat good behaviour.
- Keep a positive approach: Do not explain the bad effects of impulsive behaviour through prolonged lectures. Whenever your child shows impulsive reactions, try not to respond in anger as keeping pace with such behaviour will become difficult for you, if you also reply angrily. Instead, approach your child with a positive mind and attitude and focus on the remedial ways to control his reactions.
- Make space for leisure time: Indulge your child into healthy and productive activities such as drawing, reading story books and making crafts among other such things. Productive activities will keep your child’s mind occupied and will also channelise his energy towards something progressive.
- Have justified expectations: Above all, have reasonable expectations from your child, keeping in mind his age and level of development. It is normal for small children to react on an impulse as they do not have the cognitive ability to exercise control over their responses.
Remember, that as a parent, you should think from your child’s perspective as well. However, as a parent, you should realise that the reasons due to which your child shows impulsive behaviour may seem silly, but may be of serious concern for him. So, help your child to think before acting on impulse by making him feel that you are doing so not because you do not understand his feelings, but because impulsive behaviour is bad for his physical as well as psychological health. Put your sincere efforts in assisting your child to acquire self-control over his impulsive actions in a loving and consistent manner. Also, believe in your child that as he grows up, he will develop better control over his reactions. With your love, support and trust, your child will be able to acquire improvised inner peace of mind, which in turn will make his life happier and also make your parenting successful.
Which techniques have worked better for you? Share with us in comments below.