Curbing the Impulsivity

In between going to the pumpkin patch and our Friday Family Night Movie, I noticed a question that an obviously frustrated parent was asking on Twitter…

When will my son STOP being so IMPULSIVE??

I felt sorry for this parent. I’ve been there.

As a veteran teacher, I know that many kids struggle with impulsiveness and self-control. As a mama, I’ve witnessed my son’s own control journey.

Between the years of four and seven, we experienced more of a “do it first and then explain” attitude.

I know that social coaching helped, but honestly I think the biggest factor was maturity. I also think that homeschooling has helped because we can talk about the issues as they arise, instead of trying to rehash a poor decision at recess, several hours later at dinner.

Currently, we are having daily discussions about developing control and reducing impulsivity. We have scheduled days where he challenges himself not to use any toy guns or shooting video games. He speaks about the thought that goes into keeping his word and the choices he has to deliberately make. We praise him for his successe, and also his attempts, knowing that this parenting gig is a marathon and not a sprint.

In the past, swearing has been an issue.

Because of this, we have “positive words” as one of his daily responsibilities. These days, we have more success than failure in this particular area; however, he explained that this is a conscious daily choice.

He wants to make us proud and we appreciate it, but we try to switch the focus off of us and explain that it is most important for him to feel proud of his own progress, his own control.

He still wants to discuss scenarios that swearing would be appropriate.

How about if I stubbed my toe?

What if I dropped the iPad?

What if the zombies got me?

To be honest, while these negotiations could be annoying, I appreciate the thinking that he is doing to gain self-control and curb his impulsive nature.

He tells us the times during the day that he wished he would have been allowed to use damn and how it would have helped ease his frustration.

This is progress.

I’m watching…Maybe I could learn a bit about emotional eating or overspending from my son’s thinking and talking about impulsiveness.








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