Top Treatment For Children With Impulsivity

impulsive disorder treatment

Children are spontaneous and tend to act out of natural instinct. As they mature, children develop some impulse control as their brain continues to develop and learn to coordinate their thoughts and actions. However, some children struggle with impulsivity to a point where their behavior might seem out of control or even dangerous.

For example, a child whose impulse is to run off the end of the dock to pet the swan in the water is a danger to himself. When your child needs the red crayon so badly that he/she rips it out of another child’s hand, he can be a danger to others. In each incident, the impulsive child is unable to stop himself and think before he acts.

Signs of Impulsive Behavior

As children mature, their ability to control their own behavior and think before they act usually evolves. While each child is unique, your child should display behaviors similar to others in his or her age group. A two-year-old may not be expected to think through the consequences of running off the end of the dock to pet a swan. By four years old, however, that child should be able to perceive consequences and understand the danger of falling into the water.

Here are some signs your child might need some help with impulsivity:

  • Always insists on being first
  • Cannot understand consequences
  • Displays poor turn-taking behavior
  • Acts inappropriately for attention
  • Is often aggressive with other children
  • Takes things from other people
  • Cannot understand the effect his words and actions have on other people
  • Does not follow rules OR Consistently does not follow rules

Children go through difficult stages in their development and may exhibit some of these behaviors for a short period of time. If their behavior is consistently impulsive, though, there may be some underlying issue you need to explore.

Causes of Impulsivity

Impulsive behavior is usually a symptom of a larger problem. Children often act out when they do not have the ability to communicate what is really wrong. Impulsive behavior often accompanies attention deficit disorders. It can be impossible to think before acting when your head is full of random thoughts attracting your attention in various directions.

Also, in children with ADD or ADHD, the part of the brain that handles impulse control is slow to develop. Many children outgrow impulsivity, but some do not. There are strategies parents and children can learn to help diminish impulsive behavior.

A delay in language skill development can also lead to impulsive behavior. Children with communication disorders can become frustrated when they do not understand the directions given or cannot make themselves understood to others. They may speak out of turn because they have not mastered the rules of conversation.

Impulsive behavior can also accompany learning disabilities that involve executive functioning. Impulse control is one of the mental skills used in organizing information and behavior. For children with developmental delays in this area, impulsive behavior controls need to be taught and practiced.

Top Impulsive Behavior Treatment in Georgia

Hillside offers therapy for impulsive behavior in children that helps them manage their own behavior better. Our programs ease the tension for parents of children with impulsive behavior and help get to the root cause of the problem. Parents are not to blame for impulsive children, but they can be part of the solution.

Contact Hillside today to learn more about how you can help your child gain better impulse control.

Hillside Resources

Visit some of our top visited pages. This content is for parents, volunteers and the community at large.


News & Info

How to Practice Gratitude

The month of November is a time when many of us choose to reflect on the things in our lives that we are grateful for. What many don’t know however, is the impact that gratitude can have on our brains and bodies. Psychologists have defined gratitude as a positive...

read more

How Compassion Can Transform Our Lives

By Eamonn Walsh LCSW Historically, the dominant view of the human species was that we were fundamentally driven by competition. Thomas Huxley saw human existence as a gladiators’ show in which “the strongest the swiftest, and the cleverest live to fight another day”....

read more

Upcoming Events

DBT Seminars

View our upcoming DBT seminars and reserve your spot today.

Call Now Button
Hillside is taking immediate action to help offset community spread and protect our clients and staff.Click To Learn More