Does your child have the self-discipline to control his or her impulses?

How many times have we been at a store and our child goes bonkers over having another sample of the apple juice the sweet old lady is handing out? And instead of explaining to our child why they cannot have another sample, we instead give in to their pint sized demand. I think we can all agree this is the easier way out, who wants to force innocent shoppers to another World War meltdown in isle 3? Not me. Food aside, impulses can show up anywhere and for many reasons. Let’s face it, we have little humans that need us to guide them through and teach them how to move through this crazy thing called life.

Teaching your child techniques on how to control their impulses doesn’t have to be hard, you can implement these simple recommendations on a weekly basis. If we can take the time to adjust our child’s thinking and impulses, we actually save ourselves a lot of time later down the road. Here are some tips on how to improve your child’s impulse control and alleviate future parental stress.

  1. Teach your child about their feelings: Often times, kids who don't understand their emotions are more likely to be impulsive. A child who can't say, "I'm angry" may hit to show she's upset. By teaching your child to recognize and verbalize his/her feelings, allows them to understand and cope with the current situation in a way that both child and parent can come to a solution.

  2. Teach them to repeat directions: How many times have we set our child aside before a task and clearly explained directions and once you let them loose all directions fly out the window? A great way to avoid this is to have your child repeat the directions back to you.

  3. Teach problem solving skills: There isn’t one way to solve a problem in adult life and this isn’t any different for children. Teach your child patience by explaining and walking them through situations that have more than one solution.

  4. Teach anger management skills: Low frustration skills can result in a child scream fest. There are ways to avoid this by having them practice certain strategies: taking a deep breath, thinking rather than yelling, etc.

Parenting isn’t easy or else everyone would do it. It’s definitely a journey but we’ll be with you every step the way.