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How to help your child imbibe Self-Control

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Self-Control is your child’s ability to stop and think before acting. This gives your child a much better chance of making a good choice in a given situation. It is the ability to remain goal-directed in the face of temptation to stray off course, such as choosing to stick with homework when the temptation of cartoon programmes or social media is just a click away.

It leads to good choices, which are the building blocks of self-esteem. A child who exercises self-control regarding school work, family relationships, friendships and extracurricular activities will find that healthy self-esteem is not far behind.

Fostering good habits is a characteristic that helps to build self-control. Every time your kids engage in a good habit like brushing their teeth, putting toys away or completing their homework, especially when they don’t really feel like doing it; they build their self-control muscle just a little bit more.

One important way to help kids maintain self-control is to keep them away from temptations especially when you know that they are bound not to resist the sight. Even adults too can let loose if they come in contact with what makes them let loose, hence out of sight is out of mind.

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For young children, this might mean putting away a toy that is likely to cause conflict during a play date and for older children, it might mean keeping electronic distractions away from areas where children do homework. You can however go on to teach older kids how to identify temptations on their own, and take the necessary action to eliminate them.

Parents can also choose to reward their kid’s consistent effort to maintain self-control. If you tell your child to eat a piece of chocolate now or wait till its snack time to each two or more, then that’s a reward and their ability to wait longer shows how much they are willing to imbibe self control.

Giving your kids timely reminders is good. It is truly hard to stick to a programme if there are no reminders of the rules. Children need to be constantly reminded to keep their minds on the goal because they can easily be distracted. Also,

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As much as you want to imbibe self-control in your kids, try to also give them a break in-between. Not all kids can maintain same level of self-control; even adults too want to take breaks from following directions and working hard. It helps your kids create a balance and focus.

Also, convert tasks that kids must do to task they are willing to do. A child who won’t corporate in a maths class but shows focus, persistence and drive when tossed his favourite video game only lacks motivation, he needs to find enjoyment in the things he is asked to do, hence he needs help. So you should turn tasks into a game will further help the child gain self-control.

Finally, encourage responsibility in an age-appropriate way. Kids should be allowed to take responsibility for their own behavior. In other words if your child loses a toy that you have repeatedly asked him to put away, don’t rush out and buy him a new one. For older children, assign reasonable household chores and make it their responsibility to remember to do them.

Self-control is a lifelong challenge and one that benefits from good habits that are established early, it is a determining factor in a child’s success.

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