Teaching Impulse control to a 3 year old(2 Posts)
DS is 3 years 8 months.
He is not a naughty boy per se, but he does lack impulse control at times.
A few weeks ago, he bit another boy at nursery. This was the first 'incident' of that sort for six months or so - so he is by no means a serial offender.
Apparently, he got very upset over it - he knew immediately that what he'd done was wrong and hid in the book corner, and wouldn't stop crying for half an hour.
He also occasionally lashes out at home (at me and my husband). Again, he seems to know that he has done wrong because he gets very upset when we tell him off, but this doesn't stop him from doing it in the first place.
Our sanctions are usually taking TV privileges away (but we could be more persistent with this).
Any ideas? Again, he is usually a good boy, just occasionally he forgets his manners :-)!
Impulse control comes with age, you can't really teach it.
It can help to pick up on signs that indicate he is about to lose control and intervene. Don't let it get to point where he hits out, if you can see it brewing, send him to calm down or distract. It also helps to talk about his feelings with him and point out the indicators to him so he can start to manage his behaviour himself. So for example, if he is getting stressy/angry/upset say 'DS you're shouting and that makes me think you are quite cross, let's have a cuddle/go out in the garden/look at a book and calm down' or 'DS it looks like you're getting a bit frustrated with Kevin, shall we go and play somewhere else/go outside/have some quiet time for a little while?'
Also, he's quite young to have 'distant' and unrelated sanctions like a loss of TV time. It would be better to have an instant and if possible related sanction. If you're with other children and he hits out then he either needs an immediate time-out or to be taken home, for example.
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