Self-control is directly proportional to happiness and stability. Motivation is the key factor that helps a child to develop self-discipline. When children begin to face the world and interact with other children, they start to acquire the skills to manage their emotions and impulses.
Research states that between 3 and 4 years, a child masters the ability to manage their feelings. It is indeed a big challenge and thus, requires parental guidance. Here’s what you, as a parent, can do:
- Children tend to learn by observing and listening — So, gear up, it is time to be a role model. You can also tell stories on the different kinds of problems people face in their daily life.
- Teach the values — Ask them how would they have dealt with a problem, correct them if wrong. Indulge them with basic problem-solving activities.
- Errant behavior does not require physical punishment — Instead, it does more harm. It can make the child more aggressive. So, if you want discipline, incorporate it in the form of fun-filled activities.
- Build the concept of rules — Short, clear instructions can help your child understand what you expect from them. If you state the instruction clearly, then a child is less likely to throw a tantrum.
- Let them express — Help them validate and identify their feelings. Guide them and help them understand what is wrong and what is right.
- A routine-life can help establish self-control — Divide their playtime, learning time, snack time, etc. Moreover, good sleep is extremely necessary to prevent children from becoming cranky.
- Care for others — Te preschooling age is the best time to lay the foundation of empathy. Show them how to care for others’ feelings. Ask them how they would have felt if they were in the same situation that someone else is in.
- Deal with obstacles in life — Disappointments are hard to cope with and for a child, it can affect them to a great extent. You can guide them on how to settle for a substitute when faced with setbacks.
- How to face delayed gratification – Attach logical reasoning with them getting something that they want. Also teach them how to keep promises.
- Help them to learn patience — Asking them to assist you in baking a cake and wait until the cake is ready to eat is a good way to teach patience.
Encourage a child’s pursuit to build self-control every day. Based on the Marshmallow experiment, by Walter Mischel, kids who developed self-control at an early age achieved success later on.