6 steps to cultivating patience in impulsive children

IIsabel September 25, 2023 7:07 AM

Impulsive behavior in children can be quite challenging for parents. It's not easy controlling the constant interruptions, impromptu outbursts, or the inability to wait for their turn. However, with patience and the right strategies, you can help your child develop better impulse control. Here are six steps to cultivate patience in impulsive children.

Understand the child's impulsivity

Before you start working on your child's impulsive behavior, it's essential to understand what's causing it. Impulsivity in children could be a result of various factors, ranging from ADHD to just a natural part of growing up. Once you understand the reasons behind your child's impulsive behavior, it will be easier to find ways to help them.

Set clear expectations and consequences

Children with impulsive behavior often struggle with understanding the concept of consequences. Therefore, setting clear expectations and talking about the consequences of not meeting them can be helpful. Make sure the consequences are fair and relevant to the behavior you're addressing.

Practice patience-building activities

There are numerous activities that can help build patience in kids. These can range from puzzles and board games to activities that require waiting, like gardening or cooking.

Here's a simple table summarizing some of these activities:

Activity Why it's Beneficial
Puzzles They require concentration and patience to complete.
Board Games These teach children to wait for their turn.
Gardening It takes time for plants to grow, teaching kids the value of patience.
Cooking The process involves following steps in order which teaches discipline and patience.

Use positive reinforcement

Positive reinforcement strengthens good behavior. When your child exercises patience or demonstrates good impulse control, reward them. The reward doesn't always have to be materialistic; it could be verbal praise or a hug.

Be a role model

Children learn a lot from observing their parents. Therefore, model patience and self-control in your actions. If you get frustrated easily, chances are your child will mimic that behavior.

Seek professional help if needed

If your child’s impulsivity is causing significant issues, and none of your efforts seem to be working, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. There are therapists and counselors who specialize in child behavior and can provide helpful strategies and support.

Remember, every child is unique and what works for one may not work for another. It’s all about finding the right balance and strategies that suit your child’s needs. Patience is a virtue that takes time to develop, but with consistent efforts, your child can learn to control their impulses better.

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