An important step in managing your Impulsive/Undisciplined Child Mode is to identify the underlying causes, which may be related to internal distress (e.g. loneliness, low self-esteem, anxiety) of the vulnerable child. If you find that unpleasant emotions mostly lead to your impulsive urges and lack of discipline, you need to learn how to accept and regulate these emotions or change the situation in which they usually occur. Unpleasant thoughts and feelings are normal, allow them to come and go as they are not permanent. Develop ways to delay and moderate your reactions and impulses. An idea is to admit them, articulate them to others, which dampens their immediate power.
If specific situations are your problem, find alternatives to avoid them, or to use a different approach. Acknowledge the role and importance of others in the process. Accept that everything and everyone is connected and that your actions will have consequences.
As set out in previous sessions, learn to…
- protect and allay your vulnerable child;
- control and calm your angry child, and;
- limit your dysfunctional parent and coping modes…
…as you will probably find that these are associated with your impulsive/undisciplined child. Remember that these inner characters are fluid and affect each other as they come and go. The overriding goal is to acknowledge, but limit their influence, while developing and favoring the Healthy Adult Mode, which we will explore in the next and final session.
In the first exercise of this session, we examine the characteristics of your Impulsive or Undisciplined Child Mode. We clarify how, when, and where it is activated, and how you think, feel, and behave at the time. You also have the opportunity to identify ways by which to regulate and control your impulses and undisciplined behavior. Use sufficient time to think each question through honestly and in depth.
Download and print the worksheet to help you recognize and understand your impulsive/undisciplined child here: Impulsive Child Worksheet
Now, we complete and exercise designed to help you regulate and control the behavior of your impulsive/undisciplined child.