If you haven’t already noticed from my Facebook posts this week, I’ve been following a theme: impulsive chatting.
Here’s why I’m focused on it for the week: because it’s one of the most common issues parents of ADHD kids come to me about.
I get asked all the time, “why does my child call out in class?” “Why does my child constantly chit-chat?” “Why does my child have inappropriate outbursts?” And the most common question is: “how on Earth do we get them to stop?”
Well, it’s not easy. Getting your child to break a bad habit is almost as hard as getting them to start a good habit. But here’s one thing I will tell you: If we want to encourage or discourage behaviours in our children, the change has to start with us.
Check in with yourself
So, your child is an impulsive talker.
Let’s do a bit of a self-evaluation, here. Think for a minute, could you be an impulsive talker, too?
- Blurt things out when you’re feeling nervous or awkward?
- Interrupt your child or spouse when they’re in the middle of a sentence?
- Constantly chit-chat to yourself or the people around you?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then there’s a good chance you have impulsive talking tendencies, too.
In reality, everyone has these tendencies. But the key is to recognize them and think about how they could be influencing our children.
Let’s be good role models and practice mindful speech. Wait until a person is finished their sentence before piping in. Don’t just fill a silence with chit-chat because you’re feeling awkward. Realize that, sometimes, quietness is welcome! Try talking to yourself in your head instead of out loud, and always think before you speak.
If we practice this mindfulness with ourselves, we can encourage it in our children as well!
While impulsive talking is a habit that we don’t want to encourage in our kids, we have to recognize that some forms of chit-chat are good!
Take spontaneous talking, for example. This is a form of conversation that we actually want to welcome in our kids.
They need to feel like they can tell us anything, at any time. This is the kind of conversation that’s created when your child tries to tell you what happened at daycare today or what new discoveries they made during science class.
Having these conversations with your children is incredibly important for building and maintaining strong relationships.
So, before you scold your child for impulsive talking, ask yourself if maybe they’re really just trying to share something with you. Let’s learn to differentiate between excessive talking and when your child is sharing something they find exciting or upsetting.
And that requires us to be fully present when they are talking.
The more we understand the difference between impulsive and spontaneous talking, the more we can encourage positive forms of communication in our children.
Tell me, what are your child’s impulsive talking tendencies and how do you encourage mindful talking?