- Use visual reminders of expectations
- Practice calming strategies such as deep breathing, walking, using a squeeze ball in the left hand, or taking a time out.
- Teach the child to recognize when he or she is becoming upset and to use the calming strategies. My friend used a traffic light as an example for a two-year-old. When her daughter started to get anxious or angry, she would say, "You're on yellow, what are you going to do to go back to green?" After a period of days without going to red, there was a reward.
- Reduce anxiety by giving a clear schedule and warnings of transitions from one activity to another (in 5 minutes, we're going to put the toys away) or one location to another (this afternoon we're going to Grandma's house).
- Try a point system to encourage good behavior.
- When the child has calmed down after a problem, discuss the other options he or she had to deal with the situation and what the best choice would be in the future. Use a visual reminder to prepare for the next time.
How have you tamed impulsivity in your home?