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Impulsivity or lack of self-control is a very normal and characteristic behavior in children between 2 and 6 years old. They are at a stage of development where they seem more moved and restless. But what if these problems persist? How can we help children with self-control problems?
- It is a behavior that occurs as a consequence of discovering and exploring the environment.
- It is a stage where behaviors and ways of acting are rehearsed, they experience certain situations without reflecting and their learning is based on trial and error.
- They are acquiring the notion of time, so it is normal that they do not know what it is to wait their turn, which makes them impatient.
- When something interests them, they pay attention. When it doesn't motivate them enough, they get distracted
- In this period they are self-centered, so they expect the other to fulfill their expectations and wishes. If the other contradicts them, they feel a frustration that threatens their self-esteem and makes them impulsive.
It will be around 6-7 years of age, when children enter a new stage of their development, when impulsive behaviors and lack of self-control will cease.
This impulsiveness may not go away and self-control problems may persist. There is no single reason why this can happen. The causes of self-control problems that children may have will be very different depending on each child and the society in which the child lives. Among them, we can find:
- Sensory overstimulation. In today's society, children can be exposed to too many stimuli. Access to all kinds of information through electronic devices and a single "click", extracurricular activities in excess, or children who are taught by their parents to carry out activities that are not appropriate for the stage of development in which they are, as per example: read.
- The lack of affective containment. Inability to contain or moderate one's own instincts, passions, and impulses.
- Over-demand of childhood. Demanding and demanding too much of children carries risks and negative consequences. The continuous search for excellence in wrong stages creates self-control problems in children who are overwhelmed.
- Personality issues.
Helping children with self-control problems should be an “obligation” for both parents at home and teachers at school. For it:
- Help identify emotions. If the child learns to recognize what he is feeling, he will be able to control himself before losing control. For example, describing the situation: "How you got angry because I didn't let you get on the bed to play."
- Clarify what is going to happen. Children react badly when they do not know what is going to happen and what is expected of them in that situation. Parents must anticipate and explain to the child that he must be patient or that he has to do something that he does not feel like doing. For example: “The cousins are coming to your house and they may want to play with your toys. If you want, save the ones you like the most and you can leave the others to them ”.
- To praise. When the child manages to control himself, you have to tell him. Thanks to positive reinforcement, the little one sees that he is able to control his behavior.
- Learn through play. It is the best way for children to learn. For example, while running errands or walking down the street, playing freeze is a good way to teach children to stop and think before acting.
- Give space. At home there may be a space or corner prepared for the child to lose control. With this, the little one knows that there is a place to go when he cannot control himself.
- Reward tables. A feasible option is that when they perform an action demonstrating self-control they receive a reward.
- Use self-control techniques. Using techniques such as the traffic light, the turtle or breathing exercises, will help the child to relax and control himself.
You can read more articles similar to How to help children with self-control problems, in the category of Conduct on site.