4 1/2 Year Old Lacks Impulse Control

Updated on December 06, 2009
W.T. asks from Madison, NJ
4 answers

Hi all, I have a very energetic 4 1/2 year old son (as well as a mellower 18 month old son). Our 4 1/2 year old doesn't seem to be developing in terms of implulse control. People are napping, he lets out a little shriek (and can't say why); there's something he knows he shouldn't touch (grownups are in process of putting it away), he touches/moves it; especially irritating is his need to touch others' heads (he loses a toy for a day each time he does so); and he has to try everything out (walking silly while crossing the street, climbing on things (of course the 18 month old follows), dumping toys that were just contained.)

We aren't the best with consequences (why is it a logical consequence to lose a toy for shouting or touching? it isn't, but I and all discipline writers are stumped for actual consequences that they feel immediately) -- though we do mete them out [lose a toy, go cool down, tell me what you did wrong, 4-part apology = 1.) I 2.) am sorry 3.) that I _____ 4.) what can I do to make it better?]

None of it seems to be sinking in. The past 6 weeks have been really hard. His preschool teacher says he's energetic and even fidgity; he's generally okay at school but we all know that "impulse control" is a big issue for him. Any thoughts?

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answers from New York on

I loved Wendy's post.



answers from New York on

Hi W., Sounds to me like your son may have ADHD. He is rather young to be tested or medicated, but you may try changing his diet. You would have to research a specific diet, but what we did for my son is to eliminate all processed foods and chemicals from his diet. It changed his entire personality for the better. He was less hyperactive and less prone to impulsivity. You should speak to your pediatrician about this. If you don't try to calm him down or start some sort of behavior modification soon, other kids and parents will start avoiding him because of the impulsivity. Good Luck!
BTW, my son is now in HS and is a gifted serious calm student with an overall A- average, so don't worry-keep your mind on the big picture....


answers from New York on

I don't have any personal knowledge of this my self but do think that a couple sources could give you ideas as you know your little guy best. Loving your Kids on Purpose by Danny and Sherri Silk, and Creative Correction, I forget the author. Hope you find what you need.



answers from New York on

As a former kindergarten teacher I can tell you that your sons behavior sounds normal for a 4 year old boy. 4 year olds lack impulse control. It's frustrating but true. Kids aren't able to tell you why they do the things they do, like screaming for no reason until they are much older. Keep using time outs he will get bettr with impulse control as he gets older. Talk more with his teacher about your concerns and good luck!

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