Helping Your Impulsive Child

If you are parenting a neurodivergent or twice-exceptional kiddo, you might also be dealing with impulsivity. At its core, impulsivity is a struggle with executive functioning skills. This means, that in addition to what we might typically think of as impulsivity – rash behavior or actions – it can also manifest as difficulty with decision-making or carefully considering a plan of action. We, as homeschooling parents, need to understand where the impulsivity is coming from and what is causing it.


Signs of Impulsivity

Sometimes it can be challenging to tell the difference between behaviors that stem from impulsivity issues and those that are related to other causes such as avoidance behaviors, attention deficit disorder, or symptoms of inattention. Further, it is difficult to separate impulsive behaviors from chosen inappropriate behaviors. There may also be a connection to sensory overload or sensory processing challenges.

One way to distinguish between these various factors and causes is to observe the times and circumstances during which your child’s impulsivity occurs most frequently. Is this a behavior that happens only in certain situations, or is it a pattern you observe across the board in many settings and circumstances?

Impulsivity can also impact relationships when children cannot consider the consequences of their actions, such as interrupting or blurting out inappropriate comments. Impulsivity can have an effect on organization and task follow-through, as well.


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Strategies to Help Impulsive Children

Understanding and supporting our impulsive kiddos doesn’t mean that we ignore or excuse behavior. It means that we help our children to identify the areas where they struggle and teach them strategies to help them compensate for things they find challenging.

So many parents wonder if rewards are a helpful way to motivate children who deal with impulsivity or if that would simply mask the challenges and amount to bribery. It is important for each parent to be a student of her own child and learn what kinds of extrinsic or intrinsic motivations are most effective for that child.


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The Raising Lifelong Learners Podcast Episode #201 – Helping Your Impulsive Child

Today on the podcast, Colleen shares how to identify signs of impulsive behavior in children and how to distinguish it from other common issues. She’ll also share some of her favorite tips for supporting your impulsive kiddos and teaching them strategies they can use to handle the everyday challenges that affect them.



Links And Resources From Today’s Show:


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