How Do you Deal with an Impulsive Teenager?

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Posted by: Sue Atkins

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Show notes:

In this episode:

How Do you Deal with an Impulsive Teenager?

How to Handle School Abuse Claims – Advice for Parents.

Speech Delay – When to Worry.


Sue in Conversation with Christina McGhee Author of ‘Parenting Apart: How Separated and Divorced Parents Can Raise Happy and Secure Kids’ The ultimate resource for separated and divorced parents.

Listen to the Expert Interview

Connect with Christina Here ?







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My advice for parents if they discover their child is amongst the children bravely revealing school sexual abuse. The debate about a culture of sexual abuse at schools has escalated in recent weeks after a website set up for victims to anonymously post their experiences gained more than 11,000 posts, some from children as young as nine.

Read More ?Here 

Why children reveal abuse.

There are lots of reasons why a child or young person might to tell someone they’re being abused, including:

  • realising the abuse is wrong
  • not being able to cope any more
  • the abuse getting worse
  • wanting to protect other children
  • wanting the abuser to be punished
  • trusting someone enough to tell them
  • someone asks them directly.

It can be very hard for them to open up about what’s happened to them.

They might be worried about the consequences or that nobody will believe them.

They might’ve told someone before and nothing was done to help them.

Sometimes they might not know what’s happening to them is abuse and struggle to share what they’re feeling.

Some children don’t reveal they’re being abused for a long time, some never tell anyone.

If a child is in immediate danger, call the police on 999.

What to say to a child and how to respond.

Listen carefully to what they’re saying.

Be patient and focus on what you’re being told. Try not to express your own views and feelings. If you appear shocked or as if you don’t believe them it could make them stop talking and take back what they’ve said.

Give them the tools to talk.

If they’re struggling to talk to you, show them Childline’s letter builder tool. It uses simple prompts to help them share what’s happening and how they’re feeling.

Let them know they’ve done the right thing by telling you.

Reassurance can make a big impact. If they’ve kept the abuse a secret it can have a big impact knowing they’ve shared what’s happened.

Tell them it’s not their fault

Abuse is never a child’s fault. It’s important they hear, and know, this.

Say you’ll take them seriously

They may have kept the abuse secret because they were scared they wouldn’t be believed. Make sure they know they can trust you and you’ll listen and support them.

Don’t confront the alleged abuser

Confronting the alleged abuser could make the situation worse for the child.

Explain what you’ll do next

For younger children, explain you’re going to speak to someone who will able to help. For older children, explain you’ll need to report the abuse to someone who can help.

Report what the child has told you as soon as possible

Report as soon after you’ve been told about the abuse so the details are fresh in your mind and action can be taken quickly. It can be helpful to take notes as soon after you’ve spoken to the child. Try to keep these as accurate as possible.

How to report child abuse

If a child reveals abuse to you, it’s important to take it seriously, listen and report. And it’s vital you take the next steps to help keep them safe.

You can contact NSPCC online 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Our telephone lines are open Monday to Friday 8am – 10pm and 9am – 6pm at the weekends.

Call 0808 800 5000


I Want It Now! Syndrome

and The Neuroscience of Teenage Impulsivity – teens are hardwired for risk as they test the waters of independence.

Teenagers are known for their impulsive behaviour. They seem to do many things without thinking too much about the consequences. Research shows that teenagers, more often than people of any other age, tend to follow their short-term impulses rather than pursuing long-term goals.

Teenagers are impulsive and have difficulty waiting for long-term rewards because their brains appear to be very sensitive to immediate rewards – teenagers tend to really like them! In the early teenage years, the part of the brain that processes emotions undergoes big changes, making immediate rewards seem extra appealing to teenagers.

  1. Don’t place yourself in the power struggle. Approach your teens behaviour in a reasonable manner. Impulsive behaviour is often about getting a reaction from others so don’t intensify the situation. Have a relaxed ‘Talk’ with them about ways to press their ‘Pause Button’ in situations and to just check in with himself &  to ask himself:  ‘Is this a good idea?’ Remember your tone of voice is everything. Keep calm, cool, and collected. It’s about empowering your teen to start making better choices, not criticising, and judging them – which will build a wall between you – not a bridge.
  2. Physical activity is a great way to burn off impulsivity. Other outlets for release can be listening to music, playing games or sports or going for a run.
  3. Hold your teen accountable. As a teenager your kids should know that with actions come consequences. It’s important that you are firm in holding them accountable for their actions. Create boundaries and rules that will motivate them to practice safer behaviour.

Check out Sue’s Pause Button Technique ? HERE


Millennials are getting parenting right as they embrace and challenge taboo subjects from ‘The Sex Talk’ to issues around Black Lives Matter to transgender issues to Green issues this generation of parents are more open.


Answer :

Children develop at their own rate however, a typical 2-year-old can say about 50 words and speak in two- and three-word sentences. By age 3, their vocabulary increases to about 1,000 words, and they are usually speaking in three- and four-word sentences.

If your toddler hasn’t met those milestones, they may have a speech delay. Developmental milestones help gauge your child’s progress, but they’re just general guidelines but I would ask your health visitor or doctor for advice.

If your child has a speech delay, it doesn’t always mean something is wrong. You may simply have a late bloomer who’ll be talking their head off in no time. A speech delay can also be due to hearing loss or underlying neurological or developmental disorders.

Many types of speech delay can be effectively treated so do go and speak to a professional to guide you.

How Can Parents Help?

Focus on communication.

Talk with your baby and young child, sing, and encourage imitation of sounds and gestures.

Read to your child. Start reading when your child is a baby. …

Use everyday situations. To build on your child’s speech and language, talk your way through the day.

Don’t rush in to rescue as you know what they are asking for ……

Speech delay advice


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