The Impulsive/Undisciplined Child acts on impulses in an uncontrolled way to fulfill an immediate desire or need. There is difficulty delaying short-term gratification, and this inner child often feels intensely angry, enraged, infuriated, frustrated, and impatient when these impulses cannot be met. The main feelings of experiences that underlie the dysfunctional behavior of the Impulsive or Undisciplined Child are:
Impulsivity: Behavioral urges that cannot be controlled are a dominant feature. It is linked to a need or desire for short-term gratification that cannot easily be delayed. If these needs are not immediately met, intense frustration and anger often follow. This inner child is impatient and irresponsible, inconsiderate of consequences when in pursuit of an urge.
Having been pampered: The unreasonable expectations and entitlement of this child mode often originate from being spoilt as a child. They don’t believe that normal rules and responsibilities can (and should) apply to them. Most likely they feel offended when others do not tolerate their demands and set them limits. In some cases, it may result in anger outbursts or vengeful behavior, but it does not always go along with strong emotions.
Lack of discipline: When present, the Impulsive/Undisciplined Child has trouble completing mundane or annoying tasks and attending to everyday responsibilities. Issues are neglected that may have an important influence on the pursuit of certain life goals. They may expect others to be at their behest, but more often they simply ignore duties that don’t interest them or are not worthy of their time and attention. The frustration of doing these tasks are intolerable and they tend to procrastinate.
In the next section, we explore the three distinctive profiles of the impulsive/undisciplined child and his/her typical schema beliefs.