How To Teach Children Self

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Learn strategies khổng lồ raise a child who is responsible for their own behaviour & can make wise choices.


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No parent wants khổng lồ tell their child what to bởi or how khổng lồ behave 24/7. Not only is it exhausting, junior might also resent it or even rebel.

Teaching junior self-discipline is the best way lớn raise kids who make responsible choices and observe healthy habits.

Explains Reena Dabas, a psychology lecturer, counsellor & early childhood expert, “A child with self-discipline has internalised a set of rules, so that even when no parent is around, they will act in a thoughtful, reflective manner. It is important to develop and harness self-discipline at an early age, as it effectively paves a successful road to adulthood.”

Dabas observes that children who can exercise self-discipline at a young age seem to lớn negotiate issues regarding family, school & friends more successfully than those who struggle to lớn control themselves. As a result, self-disciplined children fare significantly better than their impulsive peers when they enter their adolescent years.

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“A child with self-discipline has internalised a phối of rules, so that even when no parent is around, they will act in a thoughtful, reflective manner. It is important khổng lồ develop và harness self-discipline at an early age, as it effectively paves a successful road lớn adulthood.”

She adds, “Self-discipline also builds resilience và is a gateway lớn realising and accessing your inner strength. The ability to lớn tap into this strength drives greater problem-solving ability when faced with difficult challenges.”

We list strategies to instil this invaluable trait in your mini-me.

1. Create a routine for your child

Dabas advises that you plan a good routine for your child and demonstrate discipline to them by following it with them for several days if the routine is new.

Do this by creating a daily schedule that your child can follow & get used to. For example, once your child starts school, phối a consistent morning ritual for them. This includes a time for them to lớn wake up in the morning, brush their teeth, get dressed, and have breakfast before leaving the house.

Once they get home from school, having a structured routine will also help them know when to vày their homework, relax and wind-down before bed.

Of course, do be flexible and make room for exceptions, such as a night-out at dinner or the movies. But in general, ensure the routine is not frequently disrupted, & that junior can follow on his own without reminders from you.

2. Create an environment where self-control is rewarded

One crucial component of self-discipline is self-control, and children should be taught this early on.

Highlighting the famous Stanford marshmallow experiment, Dabas elaborates, “Preschoolers were given the choice between eating one treat now or two treats later, và the kids who demonstrated the greatest capacity khổng lồ wait ended up ― in subsequent years ― with better outcomes. They performed better on scholastic achievement tests, were more likely to finish college and less likely to develop substance abuse problems.”

She explains that the study reinforces the concept that impulsive actions lead to negative consequences, while self-control reaps better rewards. As such, parents can apply the “marshmallow test” by promising delayed rewards that are greater than the current pleasure if their children wait for it.

For example, tell your child that their playtime will be extended if they finish all their homework beforehand. Let them know that if they run off & play first, they’ll be called back lớn the study table và not have any miễn phí time lớn play before bed.

3. Play games that focus on impulse control

Teaching self-discipline need not be all rules và no play! You can also play fun games with your child that teach them khổng lồ control their urges & impulses.

Dabas suggests games like the traditional “Red light, green light”. When your child hears the word “Green light!", he will be required to move forward. When he hears “Red light!”, he must freeze.

After your child has adjusted khổng lồ the rules, reverse them. Make “Red light!" the cue lớn go and “Green light!" the cue lớn stop. Such games chạy thử a child’s ability to go against habit & inhibit his impulses, an important skill for developing self-discipline.

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4. Reinforce desirable behaviour through affirmative words

Dabas says, “Praise and approval should be used liberally (although nor excessively) to lớn encourage good behaviour và growth into a more mature human being.”

Therefore, don’t hesitate to lớn praise your child whenever they demonstrate good self-discipline. For instance, when they spend their pocket money wisely and end up with a healthy amount of savings, or complete their chores before running out khổng lồ play.

However, Dabas also cautions that parents should be careful with feedback. “Praising kids for general traits (such as “You’re so smart!”) makes them adopt the wrong mindset, và so does general criticism (“I"m so disappointed in you”),” she notes. “What works better is praise for effort, and feedback that encourages kids to lớn try different strategies (“Can you think of another way to vì it?").

“Praise and approval should be used liberally (although nor excessively) to lớn encourage good behaviour và growth into a more mature human being.”

5. Be a consistent and good role model

Of course, one of the best ways lớn encourage self-discipline is to model that behaviour for your little one.

If you’re always late when leaving for an appointment or procrastinate instead of running errands, you’ll be sending mixed signals when you tell your child to lớn be punctual và conscientious.

“Telling children to lớn “do as I say, but not as I do” does not achieve effective discipline,” Dabas warns. “Children have lớn internalise many rules, and for that they require good behavioural models for which lớn pattern their own behaviour.”

6. Avoid harsh discipline methods

When you help junior develop self-discipline, it is more important that your offspring understand it as a teaching process, Dabas notes. “They should not associate it with intimidation, humiliation or embarrassment.”

Therefore, when your child slips up & makes mistakes (like neglecting to study for an exam & failing as a consequence), avoid punitive discipline measures such as caning, yelling or threatening them.

Rather, point out what they could have done better, & explain how a lack of self-discipline produces negative consequences.

Discipline is teaching, not punishing, và is most effective in an environment of empathy and unconditional love, Dabas says. “The goal of instilling self-discipline is not to produce compliant, obedient kids. Rather, the objective is to lớn keep children safe & help them become responsible for their own actions & choices.”

Self-discipline skills to lớn teach your child

Self-discipline encompasses many aspects, so the important self-discipline skills your child needs to know are:

* Self-control: With self-control, your child is able to postpone pleasure and can tolerate discomfort when necessary.

* Self-understanding: An awareness of their strengths và weaknesses, so they know which areas need to lớn be worked on (such as procrastinating on their maths homework if maths is their least favourite subject) và how khổng lồ build on their strengths.

* Self-motivation: With this skill, your child realises that even though they may not feel like doing something, they can’t let their emotions dictate whether or not lớn complete an important task (like preparing for a kiểm tra or cleaning their room).

* Self-responsibility: Your child learns khổng lồ be responsible for their own belongings, commitments và actions, without reminders from you.

* Self-regulation: Linked to lớn self-control, a child with good self-regulation knows when lớn stop eating snacks or playing games on the computer. This involves a keen awareness of how much is “too much”.