Teaching Impulse Control | Part 4

Allowing the Child to Practice Impulse Control

When training a puppy to do a trick you have to practice and practice, when they get it right you reward them with a treat.  It is basic behavior modification.  My husband is great at training dogs.  He worked hard with our dog training him to do many different things.   I had seen a friends dog do this amazing trick so one day I decided that I wanted to train our dog to balance a treat on his nose until I commanded that he could have it.  This was the first trick that I had attempted to train our dog to do and I was very excited to accomplish this and surprise my husband.  I had grandiose ideas that my wonder dog would be able to accomplish this after one try.  This of course did not happen it took many, many practices and rewards for patience.  But I can now with confidence say that my dog will sit with a treat on his nose and wait to eat it, albeit drooling, until I say “ok”.

So if an animal can be trained to that level to control their impulses, we definitely can say no in the face of temptation or desire.  The key is practice.  Allow your child to practice impulse control.   Teaching your child to get out of bed in the morning, not to talk back, slam things or stomp around is mostly about learning discipline.  Learning how to handle your impulses when you don’t get your way is important for the future, so that you can handle yourself appropriately at work if a co-worker doesn’t do something the way you like it.  Getting out of bed teaches the discipline of forcing yourself out of a situation, even though it may be more comfortable, if its not the right thing.  Simple day to day choices help our children to exercise impulse control. Just don’t forget to reward them with praise when they make the right choices.

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on teaching impulse control.