Helping Your Child Develop Self-Control
Having good self-control is a vital trait that children should learn. It helps with decision-making, emotional regulation, and self-management and is something they will carry throughout life. Here are some tips to help you support your child’s development in this area.
Encourage Positive Behaviour
Reward your child’s self-control by catching them in the act and praising them. You should point out specific behaviours, such as when they count to 10 before responding to an anger-inducing situation, or when they successfully follow through with a task. Such positive reinforcement will motivate your child to engage in more positive behaviour and will help them recognize when they are using self-control successfully.
Children learn best from example. When you, as a parent, stay in control of your emotions and use words over physical punishments when disciplining, you are teaching your child the importance of self-control. Taking the time to forgive and be reasonable instead of acting in anger will help your child learn how to better regulate their own emotions and respond to situations in a healthier way.
Help Manage Transitions
Children can have a hard time making transitions from one activity to the next. To help your child practice self-control, identify the transition for them when it’s about to occur and clearly explain what will happen next. Giving them a heads up will help them better manage their emotions and make a smooth transition.
Set Clear Boundaries
Create a disciplined environment for your child by giving them clear and consistent boundaries. Establishing expectations and consequences ahead of time will help your child understand that they must act responsibly and be in control of their behaviour. Let them know that compromising their boundaries will result in consequences and that they must take responsibility for their actions.
Promote Good Coping Skills
Developing healthy coping skills like deep breathing, counting, and mindful awareness will help children handle emotions and stressful situations in a more responsible way. Teaching them how to take a moment to pause and choose their response is a great way to help them practice self-control.
At the end of the day, ask open-ended questions so that your child can reflect on their behavior. Encouraging your child to talk about a situation can help them understand where their emotions take them and why self-control is important in various situations.
By following these tips, you can help your child develop stronger self-control and equip them with the proper tools to better manage their emotions, decisions, and behavior. It’s not easy, but with patience and consistency, your child will gain more self-control and have a better understanding of what’s expected of them.
Tips for helping your child develop self-control:
- Encourage positive behaviour by praising them when they use self-control.
- Model self-control by regulating your own emotions and choosing words over physical punishments.
- Help manage transitions by giving them a heads up when one is about to occur.
- Set clear boundaries by establishing expectations and consequences ahead of time.
- Promote good coping skills like deep breathing and mindful awareness.
- Encourage reflection by talking about situations and asking open-ended questions.