All children need to be taught self-control, along with the consequences of their actions if they don’t restrain their own desires, impulses, or emotions. Taking a moment to pause and consider their actions is a learned behavior that will help children throughout their lives.
Why Self-Control Is Important
Learning how to control one’s own impulses allows children to get along better with their classmates, teachers, and parents. Self-control is a skill that will follow children throughout their lives, helping them get along with others and not do the first thing that pops into their heads. Without exhibiting self- control, adults often end up in trouble, or even in jail.
Helping children learn self-discipline by encouraging their good behaviors can also help them learn self-control. Set limits to help them learn self-discipline, such as having a set bedtime and sticking with it. If parents and teachers demonstrate consistency with what they ask children to do, there will be less frustration, because children will know what’s expected of them. Without these expectations, children may not learn self-control skills.
How to Teach Children Self-Control
Self-control is a behavior most children can be taught. There are children who can’t learn this behavior due to disabilities, but most kids do well when they’re taught how to take a moment to think about their actions before reacting to a situation. The best way to teach this behavior is to model it for children.
When a teacher, parent, or other adult becomes frustrated or angry, he or she needs to take a moment before reacting. Instead of yelling, using harsh language, or even physically reacting to a situation, if an adult can show self-control when in a super-charged emotional state, this subsequently demonstrates to children how to react appropriately to volatile situations.
If a teacher or parent sees a situation in which a child may jump to react to something verbally or physically, he or she can help that child by teaching them to breathe deeply and inwardly consider the consequences of their reactions to a situation. Getting children involved with activities that teach self-discipline is also a good way to teach self- control.