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Impulse Control: Managing Behaviors of ADHD Kids

Work With Teachers

Your child spends most of the day at school. That's why it's important to reinforce in school any behavior skills your child learns at the therapist's office or at home.

To curb impulsivity during the day, make the teachers your allies. Try taking these steps:

  • Keep in close touch with all of your child's teachers.
  • Ask frequently how your child is behaving in school.
  • Work together with teachers to find solutions for any impulsivity issues that arise.


If you've ever sent your child outside to burn off some energy when he or she was misbehaving, you were on the right track. Studies are finding that exercise can help control impulsivity and other behavior problems in kids with ADHD.

Consider signing your child up for a sports team, such as basketball, soccer, or baseball. Playing a sport not only gives kids exercise, but it also teaches them important social skills, such as how to follow rules and take turns.

ADHD Medicines

When other treatments don't work, or your child also has other ADHD symptoms, your doctor might recommend medicine. Stimulant medicines act on the brain chemicals that contribute to impulsivity.

Several different stimulant medications are available, including:

There are non-stimulant medications as well, which can treat ADHD and impulsivity, including:

It can take some trial and error to find the medicine and dose that manages your child's impulsivity.

Even if you find a medication that works, medicine alone can't "cure" impulsivity. You will need to combine it with other therapies, especially during times when your child is off the medication, such as at night or on weekends.

Stay Involved

It's common to get frustrated when you're living with a child with ADHD. Taking an active part in your child's treatment will help you feel more in control. And it will give you a better handle on impulsivity and other behavior problems.

Consider taking these steps:

  • Learn as much as you can about ADHD and impulsive behaviors.
  • Take a parent ADHD training program to learn ways to manage your child's behaviors.
  • Keep in close contact with your child's doctor, teachers, and therapists.
  • Join a support group to learn from other parents who have been through the same issues.

Finally, don't give up. You will find solutions to your child's impulsivity problems if you stay consistent and involve a team of teachers, therapists, and other experts.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari, MD on January 15, 2015
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