Impulsive behavior, hyperactivity, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), and more commonly today Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), are consistently found in children, teens, and even adults. Perhaps harming the youngest the most, numbers have been released stating that it affects almost 8-10% of school-aged children. Hyperactive or impulsive children act without thinking, and have great trouble focusing. It may be that they understand what’s expected of them, but cannot “do the right thing” because they can’t physically sit still and pay attention. Although medication is sometimes necessary, depending on the severity of the impulsive behavior, there are techniques of impulsive behavior modification that you can use which have been proven quite effective in curbing impulsive behaviors. In fact, a clinical study published in 2005 by the University of Buffalo found that using impulsive behavior modification, along with medication, to treat children with ADHD reduced the dosage of medication required by as much as two-thirds.
So whether you child with impulsive behavior is taking medication or not – here are just a few behavior modification techniques to help.
Impulsive Behavior Modification Tip 1 – Create a solid environment offering your child love, stability, and safety.
- Structure your child’s environment, set boundaries, and establish rules and consequences. Mapping out the territories will give them clear signs of what is acceptable and what will not be tolerated therefore creating guidelines for their impulsive behavior.
- Encourage your child to be socially active and interact with children who are good role models. This may mean at first you must supervise, and play a part, in all play-dates, however your child will quickly pick up on your playfulness with them and others.
- Understand your child’s behaviors, be conscious of his patterns, and try to avoid situations that you know will result in impulsive behavior. We as parents often feel the need to ‘push’ but must understand this will only harm, not help the impulsive behavior.
- Reward positive behaviors immediately and often, punish negative behaviors swiftly and consistently. Never put things off for a better time. If you do not make it immediate they will no longer fully understand their action.
Impulsive Behavior Modification Tip 2 – Always be there for your child on an emotional level.
- Help you child learn techniques to help himself, such as relaxation, breathing, etc. You can attend counseling with them to get a better idea of what your child should know.
- Help your child to recognize his own “triggers” so he can avoid them, or implement the relaxation techniques. Walk them through situations slowly, allowing them to take control of themselves at their own pace.
- Minimize you own “impulsive behaviors” and be a good role model yourself. Do not yell or over react to problems, be calm, and deal with troubles as patiently and peacefully as possible.
You can find many other impulsive behavior modification techniques, strategies, and tips at the following website.