As a camp director I am very familiar with the girl who starts cutting out the project before she even hears the instructions. Or the boy on a trip who starts walking in the wrong direction because he is sure that he has been here before. These children do so because they just can’t help themselves. Give them scissors, they cut. Give them paint, they start painting. They have a hard time waiting and they often get frustrated with the activity because they were too busy figuring it out on their own to listen to the instructions. Then they’re disappointed with their results.
If this child sounds familiar to you, then you know what you are facing, and you have already won half the battle. You know your child, and you can anticipate his impulsivity. Here are a few tips that will help you have a great time with this child:
- Compliment them. The first step is to applaud your child for being such a great kid. Once you have encouraged her, she is in the mindset to please. She wants to continue to gain your approval.
- Whenever possible, explain the instructions of the first step of the activity before giving out the supplies. Then it will be less likely for them to start without knowing what to do. It might also be a good idea for this child to sit close to you so you can keep an eye on him.
- Take it step by step. Break down the activity into steps, and make it very clear that you are doing it one step at a time.
- If there are more children doing the activity and he is now waiting for the next step, you can ask him to help the other children. This will again make him feel good about himself.
- All in all, if your child is impulsive, it is likely for her to make a mistake. Try to remain calm, and relay the message that it is okay and that you love her just the way she is. Have extra supplies on hand in case she needs to start over again.
Creating Time™ is a great opportunity to have a fun together with your impulsive child while teaching her to follow instructions and how to deal with disappointments.