18 Ways to Help Learners Who Act Impulsively

Are you looking for ways to help students who act impulsively? If so, keep reading.

1. Do not criticize the student. On occasions where correcting the student, be honest yet compassionate. Never cause the student to feel negatively about himself/herself.

2. Praise those students in the classroom who act deliberately and responsibly.

3. Intervene early and often when there is a problem to prevent a more severe problem from happening.

4. Teach the student to think before acting (e.g., they should ask themselves, “What is happening?” “What am I doing?” “What should I do?” “What is best for me?”).

5. Assess the appropriateness of the task to ascertain (a) if the task is too easy, (b) if the task is too complicated, and (c) if the duration of time scheduled to finish the task is sufficient.

6. Draft an agreement with the student stipulating what behavior is required (e.g., acting deliberately and responsibly) and which reinforcement will be implemented when the agreement has been met.

7. Take the student away from the learning experience until they can demonstrate appropriate behavior and self-control.

8. Praise the student for demonstrating appropriate behavior based on the duration of time the student can be successful. As the student shows success, slowly increase the duration of time required for reinforcement.

9. Praise the student for acting deliberately and responsibly: (a) give the student a concrete reward (e.g., privileges such as leading the line, handing out learning materials, 10 minutes of free time, etc.) or (b) give the student an informal reward (e.g., praise, handshake, smile, etc.).

10. Talk with the student to explain(a) what the student is doing wrong (e.g., taking action before thinking about what they are doing) and (b) what the student should be doing (e.g., considering consequences, thinking about the correct response, considering others, etc.).

11. Do not provide too much free time for the student.

12. Create classroom rules: • Complete every assignment • Complete assignments quietly. • Remain in your seat. • Finish tasks. • Meet task expectations. Examine rules often. Praise students for following the rules.

13. Connect with parents (e.g., notes home, phone calls, etc.) to disseminate information about the student’s progress. The parents may reinforce the student at home for acting deliberately and responsibly at school.

14. Consider using an adaptive behavior management app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

15. Click here to learn about six bonus strategies for challenging problem behaviors and mastering classroom management.

16. Consider using a socio-emotional learning app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

17. Consider using an emotional intelligence app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

18. Consider using a school counseling app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

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