One dad complained that his 5-year-old son just didn’t want to obey some of their family rules. For example, his son was running in the house. The dad stopped his son and explained to him that it was not ok to run in the house. He then asked his son if he understood and he did.
Fast forward 5 minutes … and there his son is running in the house once again! Is he purposely trying to drive his dad crazy by disobeying?
No! His ability to control his impulses, like the impulse to run, is still developing. While he understands the rule, his impulses take over in the moment and he runs.
Experts believe that the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for impulse control, does not fully develop until a person is 25-years-old. That doesn’t mean that there is no impulse control until that age but it is a developing skill (which is why car rental places won’t let someone rent a car until they are 25)!