Supporting kids who struggle with the repercussions of being impulsive is one of the major social coaching themes here at the Center.
Impulsive kids are not able to think about their in-the-moment actions through to the results and outcomes. More often than not, these are negative and come as a surprise to the impulsive child. If we don’t help impulsive kids with support in place of constant reprimands, you will see them eventually give up and self-esteem sinks. They feel as though they can never get it right.
You can help a child work on managing their impulses by teaching them and reminding them to use the Three A’s:
Ask: Always ask before taking an action. (You can practice this by having your child ask permission for things as much as possible at first.)
Answer: Wait for it.
Accept: Accept the answer you are given, even if it isn’t the one you want.
Social coaching strategies such as this are never one-and-done. Just like multiplication or sight word drills, they need to be practiced over and over until they become memorized and automatic. We can’t give a child a strategy and tell them to go and use it, we need to provide reminders and support to use it, and provide lots of positive praise when they do.