The 3 Types of Self-Control

By The Understood Team

Having self-control isn’t as simple as it sounds. A lot goes into it. Here are three areas of self-control, and how kids might struggle with them.

Impulse Control

What it means: The ability to stop and think before acting. It lets us think through consequences before we do something.

Without it kids may:

  • Interrupt a lot, talk too much, or speak out of turn

  • Not get started on homework until close to bedtime

  • Rush through assignments

  • Follow rules one day but not the next

Emotional Control

What it means: The ability to manage feelings. It helps us keep going even when upsetting or unexpected things happen.

Without it kids may:

  • Get easily frustrated and give up

  • Not handle criticism well

  • Have a hard time calming down to get things done (like homework)

  • Have trouble keeping their cool when someone upsets or annoys them

Movement Control

What it means: The ability to control how our body moves. It lets us regulate what we do physically in an appropriate way.

Without it kids may:

  • Be overly active or restless

  • Have trouble sitting still

  • Have difficulty staying in line while waiting their turn

  • Disrupt games and conversations with their movements