Impulse control is absolutely central to being able to achieve in school, follow the rules, and make and keep friends. Many children and adolescents lag behind their peers in the area of impulse control, even though they desperately want to do better. How well a child can control himself (appropriate to the situation) is an important predictor of how successful he will be at achieving his or her life goals.
Children with impulse control problems may show the following behaviors:
- Getting into trouble without ever realizing they broke the rules
- Acting without thinking
- Making the same mistake over and over again, even after being disciplined.
- Being shocked to discover they are in trouble
- Being too silly, taking the game too far
- Risky behavior
- Relationship problems—losing friends, trouble with teachers, sibling conflict
Impulse control problems have an impact across all areas of a young person’s life. Children with impulse control problems get in trouble frequently, no matter how much they try to improve. They may lose friends and do not get invited over for play dates. They may even be labeled as the ‘bad’ kid by teachers and relatives who do not understand them. It is important to understand WHY impulsive behaviors are happening in order to create an effective plan to intervene.
Understand Possible Causes
Support Services: What do you do?
Behavior modification is the treatment of choice. Goal oriented therapy will target both family and child to eliminate tantrums.