Self control is one of the most important character traits a parent can teach a child. We’ve all seen those children who seem to be completely out of control. Parents seem oblivious, but others are affected.
Both, self control and self discipline are lifelong challenges that are important for success in later life, so it’s never too early to begin.
Be A Positive Example
It’s best to remember that children learn what they see and hear. First and foremost, if you want to teach your child about self control, you much practise it yourself. No one is perfect, but make a real effort to control your own issues. Maybe you yell when you could talk in a softer voice. Perhaps you get frustrated when doing chores around the house. Create that invaluable teachable moment and point out that you did not act your best, and how you will act differently next time.
Teaching your child how to act appropriately in all situations may involve taking one instance at a time. How a person or a child reacts after correction, a setback or a failure determines how well they will manage life’s unpleasant situations. Explain how you expect your child to behave in certain kinds of circumstances: playing sports, a tough subject at school, or just not getting their way.
Give Your Child Responsibility
Self discipline is the key to all self control. Unless you give your child the opportunity to exhibit self control, you are not really helping them learn how to exhibit it.
Agree to having a pet if your child will be responsible for certain parts of its care. This can go a long way toward teaching self control.
Requiring your child to keep their room organized is another opportunity to teach self control and self discipline. Certain obligations must be met by a certain time each day or week, including brushing their teeth without being told to.
Maybe an older child can take on a paper route. Lots of self control is needed to leave that warm bed each morning.
Be sure to reinforce with encouragement when they show positive self control and improvement.
Set Boundaries And Enforce Consequences
Be sure boundaries are clearly understood. Crying because they did not get their way, temper tantrums and disobedience are not acceptable behaviour. Once the boundaries are crossed, consequences must be enforced. It might sound harsh, but allowing children to do what they please, whenever they please, does not help them ultimately live in the real world.
Children really crave boundaries and are happier when they are enforced. Teaching children to stop and think before acting gives them the tools to develop self control, self discipline and success in life.
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