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If your ADHD child exhibits impulsive behavior, these tips will help reduce impulsivity.

Tips to Manage Impulsivity

Impulsive behavior often occurs in children with ADHD and other behavioral disorders. Impulsivity is related to acting on a whim or without thought. As a result, these children often do things like take unnecessary risks, blurt things out, don’t wait their turn and interrupt conversations.

In these cases impulsiveness may be caused by a brain-based imbalance, however there are methods that can help your child improve self control to minimize impulsivity. The following tips will help overly impulsive children better manage behavior and thereby improve social relationships.

Raise Your Child’s Awareness of Impulsiveness

Sometimes just being aware of an issue can diffuse it. Whenever your child acts impulsively, bring her attention to it and help her to better understand why the behavior is a problem in that moment. If your child interrupts you, advise him that you haven’t finished your conversation and that it’s important that you do so for x reason and ask for patience. When correcting your child’s impulsive behavior, it’s important to do so in a calm and helpful manner so as not to affect self esteem negatively. Don’t make your child feel like he or she is the problem but rather the behavior is the issue and send the message that it can be corrected. However, keep in mind that in some cases kids won’t be able to control their impulsivity just by trying harder—so consult a professional if you continue to have concerns.

Suggest Alternative Behaviors

Provide your child with tools to combat impulsive behavior. For example if your child has a tendency to interrupt, ask him to place his hand on your arm when he has something to say and wait for you to acknowledge him before speaking. If your child is prone to aggressive behavior like hitting or kicking other children, encourage her to take the aggression out in other ways like by biting on a pillow or kicking at a ball or bush. This will satisfy their urge without causing problems or hurting other people.

Take a Deep Breath

Techniques like breath awareness and mindfulness meditation can help improve impulse control. Teach your child to take a few deep breaths when they feel their excitement or impulsivity building. Learning to pause can go a long way towards helping your child to reduce impulsive behaviors. Deep breaths can also help parents reduce their frustration that often arises in reaction to a child’s behavior. So in all cases, remember to breathe!

Praise Patience

Acknowledge when your child is being patient and reward him for positive behavior with praise or a special prize. Children who struggle with impulsivity want to behave and may be more likely to do so when they understand what the preferred behavior looks like.

If you suspect your child has impulsivity issues or has already been diagnosed with ADHD, contact us online or find a center near you to learn more about how the Brain Balance Program can help.


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