Choice and Impulse Control

Here is an example of how choice can be used to redirect an impulse towards more responsible behavior—even with a very young child. It is part of a communication from a friend.

"I marvel at what my grandson understands and how he manages to communicate. The other night the parents went to dinner, and he started to cry real tears and scream.

"I picked him up and gave him a hug and proceeded to explain to him that mommy and daddy went to dinner and they would soon come back. Then I asked him if he wanted to keep on crying until they returned or play with his trains. The tears shut off like a switch! He loves Thomas the Train.

"I realized that I gave him the choice of taking responsibility for his behavior in that situation. Pretty cool, huh! He's all of 28 months old!"

Here is a simple procedure for impulse management that anyone can use.