Impulse Control

Impulse control is something that should be ingrained in a child at an early age. Postponing this important lesson can determine someone’s potential for success at every stage of life, and those who cannot properly control their impulses often fall behind.


Impulses can be physical or mental, and the key distinction of an impulse is that it is a strong urge or desire to do something. An impulse can be positive or negative, but typically when dealing with impulse control we are talking about controlling negative impulses.


In college, I see this all the time. My peers who go out every night and skip classes often times find themselves falling behind. Because they are unable to control the impulse to drink or party, this has adverse effects on their education and dedication to their studies. Staying out late means that maybe they skip a class or two to sleep in or maybe they procrastinate on an assignment to go out with friends. However, the problem with this is that it is a slippery slope, and it's easy to keep taking it one step further. College used to be a time when people could fail in a safe space and be irresponsible because it was a time to learn these lessons. However, with the rising cost of attendance, getting a college education is now a personal investment that determines your future. The time to learn to manage your impulses is no longer college.

The sooner we learn to manage negative impulses, the sooner we can become successful, functioning members of society. So the question is, when does this start? My answer is, ASAP. Children in this nation are being enabled to act on negative impulses. This is why we are seeing a rise in childhood obesity, behavioral issues and consumeristic tendencies starting at a young age. We are not making our children learn how to control themselves, and thus we are setting them up to fail. It is important to push your children to learn to control their impulses while they are in a safe place with low consequences, because if they haven't learned this important lesson, later in life they will experience hardships that are completely avoidable. I urge parents to empower your children to be their best selves by teaching the hard lessons early. This will set the child up to be successful and it will make your time with them easier as well.