There are three distinctive profiles of the Undisciplined Child that represent different behavioral tendencies, which may overlap with the Angry Child if frustration is generally expressed by anger and rage. However, is mostly distinguishable from the Angry Child as anger or other intense feelings are often decidedly absent, with the exception of frustration and impatience. These dominant profiles are referred to as the impulsive child, undisciplined child, and the spoilt child, respectively.
Impulsive child: As with some in the Angry Child Mode, s/he acts without thinking from moment to moment in a selfishly uncontrolled way without regard to consequences for the self and others; has trouble delaying gratification, becomes frustrated and restless, but rarely resorts to aggression, which is a distinction from the Angry Child type.
Undisciplined child: When present, this child mode defy or ignore rules and mundane tasks. They often shun responsibilities and do something that are immediately more pleasant or rewarding. Their lack of discipline gets in the way of pursuing important life goals.
Spoilt child: S/he pursue their own interests at the expense of everyday responsibilities and duties, which they expect someone else to step up. They believe they are deserving of more respect and support, and get frustrated and petty when they feel ignored and not recognized.
In the Impulsive/Undisciplined Child Mode, feelings are most often not very intense. It is all about granting yourself what you want but often result in unintended consequences (e.g. financial problems, relationship issues, bad grades, inconsistent work performance). It may also be caused by an attempt to escape the distress and bad feelings of the Vulnerable Child.
Schema beliefs of the impulsive child
The following are the typical schema beliefs that are expressed by the Impulsive or Undisciplined Child. Read through each statement and consider the behaviors that best apply to you at certain times.
- I have trouble controlling my impulses.
- I act impulsively or express emotions that get me into trouble or hurt other people.
- I blindly follow my emotions.
- I don’t think about what I say, and it gets me into trouble or hurts other people.
- I break rules and regret it later.
- I act first and think later.
- I say what I feel, or do things impulsively, without thinking of the consequences.
- It’s impossible for me to control my impulses.
- If I feel the urge to do something, I just do it.
Next, we explore ways to regulate or control your inner impulsive/undisciplined child.