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Teaching Your Children About Self-Control

Written By Jana Angeles 

 Self-Control is a continuous learning process for growing kids and in this day and age, we shouldn’t let teachers do the work when it comes to discipline. Some parents think it’s not their responsibility to do this, but when it comes to adapting appropriate, respectful behaviour, you are the role model they look up to. How you act, what boundaries you set and how you respond to situations are paramount when it comes to your children learning about self-control. There are many benefits in teaching kids about self-control. These include: achieving more important goals in life, learning the importance of academia and treating others with kindness and respect. You don’t have to be the “bossy” parent when it comes to self-control. Find the balance between being firm and lenient at the same time. 

So, what effective strategies can you implement when it comes to self-control? 

Changing The Situation 

Are you tired of your kids eating ice cream before they’ve eaten dinner? Do they keep fighting with each other? A simple way in teaching kids how to adapt good habits of self-control is to take care of the situation yourself. Have a “no sweet food” policy for a month and avoid taking the kids with you when it comes to grocery shopping. Mention that it’s only a “once a month” type of treat to have ice cream.   

If the kids keep constantly fighting, move one child into an area that separates them from one another. This will allow any sort of conflict to fizzle down in the meantime. You have the ability to change the situation and you can call the shots to manage the kids. This will also teach them the lesson that they can’t always have it their way if they consistently act up and break the rules. 

Open Them Up To New Ways of Thinking  

Some of us like to stick to traditional methods, others like to try new ways all the time. Each parent has different habits when it comes to undertaking certain tasks. Whether it’s doing house chores or working to pay the bills, we should allow our children to adapt methods that work for them when it comes to their school work. You’ll find that your children learn differently and you’ve got to find ways that nurture their learning style when it comes to daily activities. Try to visually map out tasks your children need to undertake when it comes to housework. When it comes to doing assignments, help manage them into smaller tasks they need to accomplish. Helping your kids be open to new ways of thinking can help them pick up healthy habits when finishing an important task. Help them learn the balance between work and play. 

Teach Them How To Respond In Certain Situations  

Children are unpredictable when it comes to their emotions. They’re still trying to discover their identity and continuously learning how to respond to situations that may create frustration, anger, fear or anxiety. To prevent them from lashing out, throwing tantrums or bursting into tears, get them ready to do some role-play scenarios with you. 

For example, if you teach your children what to do in a situation where they are being bullied, pretend you’re the bully and do a scene where you are calling them names. Ask them how they would respond to that situation. Let them have a go first and then teach them what the appropriate response would be when they come across a bully. It’s also important to teach your kids when to ask for help when a situation escalates that could possibly put them or others in danger. Learn how to effectively communicate with each other about self-control and give your child a chance to speak up when need be. 

Self-control is important to teach at an early age. As your kids grow older, they will have to face scenarios requiring them to be resilient, patient and proactive. Make sure to teach them the benefits of discipline and motivation but also consistently check in to see if they are not putting themselves in dangerous or harmful situations.  

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