Teaching our children to control their impulses should be one of the goals in family education; It is something like the action of 'training' the fox that Saint-Exupéry spoke of in his great and always updated book The little Prince. An impulsive child is one who acts without thinking and without measuring the consequences of his actions or words.
Some studies claim that it seems that children who have poor impulse control are more likely to become overweight years later. Of course, the extra pounds are just one of the consequences of acting like crazy, a list that we could qualify with our own mistakes - or those of our closest friends and family - for demanding and presenting speed in everything, in our way of speak and act.
The answer to this question is complicated because it is classified among those in which the experience itself is irreplaceable; But perhaps we could start by taking into account the temperament of each child and be sure that we will not be able to ask for 'pears from the elm'.
One of the tests to 'diagnose' the level of control of a child under the age of five, used by a prestigious institution of child psychiatry, was to sit him in a room in which they had previously placed an attractive toy. Before leaving him alone, they explained to the boy that he should remain seated. Those with the greatest self-control were those who managed to reach 75 seconds without getting up in search of the toy.
For those aged five years or more, the test consisted of seeing how long it took the little ones to claim a portion of their favorite food, knowing in advance that if they asked for it immediately they would get only a little, while if they waited, the ration it would be much higher. Those who exceeded the three and a half minutes of waiting were considered as having a high level of self-control. Although it is normal for young children to act on impulses, parents must correct this behavior to prevent them from continuing to experience impulsivity in the future.
It would be good if they used similar exercises for the little ones, always explaining what they win and what they lose with each of the decisions they make. It will be highly gratifying to discover that little by little they will think more before acting or speaking.
Rosa Mañas. our site
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