We often see people succumbing to impulsive behavior and emotions. Do you know why it happens? They lack self-control. Self-control is the battleground between impulsive behavior and doing what is good or helpful. It is the capacity to control one’s emotions, urges, or behaviors to attain a larger aim.
Is teaching self-control to your children something you’re considering? It has been confirmed that it is achievable. Self-control can help children avoid distractions, suppress impulses, recover from painful emotions, defer gratification, and plan.
For instance, avoid the sweets aisle in the shop during your shopping entirely. For older kids, this may mean keeping electronic items away from areas where they do homework. You need to go further with older children and teach them to identify temptations on their own and eliminate them.
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Here are some tips for teaching children self-control.
1. Out of sight and out of mind
According to Sage Journals, self-control is frequently perceived as reactive, focusing primarily on suppressing responses produced by temptations.
Changing the environment and keeping temptations out of sight are thus key self-control tools for children. With younger children, this may show keeping an object that might generate conflict during play sessions.
Keep everything you believe may lead to temptation, emotional outbursts, or tantrums away from your youngster. For example, if your child likes motorized toys, avoid taking them to toy stores, and if they enjoy eating sweets, avoid placing them in common areas.
2. Reward Self-Control in Children
In one of the tests conducted with preschoolers, called the marshmallow test, the children were given a choice of eating one treat now or a couple of treats later.
It was discovered that the children who demonstrated more capacity to wait achieved better outcomes in subsequent years. They did well in scholastic achievement tests, and they were more likely to complete college and less likely to get involved in vices such as substance abuse.
This research was performed by Celeste Kidd, who commented on how things depended on the expectations of a child.
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3. Send timely reminders for better support
It is tough to stick to a program if you are not aware of the rules. Younger kids have difficulty remembering our instructions. They are prone to distractions. So, it is a good idea to keep reminding the children about the expectations.
In one of the experiments performed by Jane and Yuko Munakata in 2015, 3-year-old children were asked to do a straightforward task teaching impulse control. They were to open a box for a prize only after being given the right signal. When the child was reminded about the rules before trials, they were more likely to control their impulse.
4. Play suitable games to help them practice self-control
Games are another approach to teaching self-control. Games require following rules requires, which means showing self-control. Some games, however, are more difficult than others.
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Red Light Green Light is a popular game for this purpose. It is about following directions, but there is a catch. When the child hears “Green Light,” they can move forward, but when they hear “Red Light,” they need to freeze. The game has several twists that test the children’s ability to go against habit. They are forced to inhibit their impulses and practice self-regulation.
5. Give the children a break
All children benefit when you allow them some downtime. A break away from working hard and following directions. It is a fact that people cannot maintain the same level of self-control over a period.
If you give them two challenging assignments to complete one after the other, they will exhibit less self-control, especially during the second assignment. You need to provide time for playing and exploring new opportunities.
You may utilize the recommendations to instill self-control in your child and uncover more techniques by conducting research.
Self-control is essential when grooming a child. Over time, children lacking self-control may face health challenges such as obesity and drug addiction and a higher risk of engaging in lawbreaking activities and experiencing financial difficulties.
While some may argue that genetics solely determines self-discipline, research suggests otherwise. Parents and teachers play a crucial role in fostering self-control in children.
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