How to Develop Self-Discipline in Your Children LIKE A PRO!
Many of us struggle to teach our children self-discipline because, well, we’re parents! We can tend to dote on, and give in to, our children’s whims readily not knowing how much this will actually affect their upbringing.
In this article, we’ve rounded up the best tips from both parents and professionals on how to successfully develop self-discipline in young children…
1. Start early.
Start early. It’s always easiest to teach young minds because they are very impressionable. They catch on easily, their minds are like blank canvasses. Start with simple things like coming as soon as they are called and regularly reinforcing the use of “Please,” “Thank you,” “Excuse Me.” Simple chores like packing away their toys after playtime, fixing their beds in the morning and keeping their rooms neat at all times.
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2. Have routines.
Repetition and routine structures every child’s daily life. It may seem boring for adults, but children depend on it. It gives them a feeling of security knowing what is supposed to happen next. Set a daily schedule for them from the time they wake up until the time they need to go down for the night again. The time may be flexible, but the pattern should definitely be there. Constantly remind them of things like wash your hands before and after eating; and eat veggies before sweets; and always explain why, so they understand why it is a good thing to do rather than just because Mum said so. Try to make it as fun as possible, and in time these will become second nature to them.kids karate gold coast
3. Take corrections positively.
Most children don’t respond to corrections well. They react in either a passive (bad attitude) or aggressive (anger) manner. This is the perfect time to teach them about self-discipline. Things will not always go their way, or sometimes they will make mistakes, and they should learn how to deal with it. Teach children how to control their feelings and impulses. Let them know that those things really happen once in awhile and instead of getting upset, they should learn from it.
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4. Encourage disciplined activities.
Find other ways to instill discipline that your children will find fun and, if possible, allow them to be with friends. Activities like martial arts, swimming or other sports, music or acting lessons all help develop self-discipline in children and boosts their confidence as well. It gives them a sense of accomplishment when they move on to the next level.
If they are old enough, small jobs like mowing the neighbour’s lawn or pet sitting are also great activities that will encourage discipline.Kids karate training gold coast
5. Provide a process.
Teachers have observed that children do better when they are given ‘how to’ steps in a process. Like how to subtract by borrowing, how to draw a house, how to make a sandwich, etc. It makes complicated tasks more manageable for young minds. They know that by following each step carefully, there is a small chance of failing.
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This can be applied at home with chores like fixing their bed, cleaning their room, or setting the table. martial arts gold coast
6. Have rules.
Set clear ground rules at home and make it a point to stick to the discussed consequences when they are broken. This teaches children what to expect and will help them make the right decisions. They have to play nicely and be fair with each other at all times, share everything, use kind words and ignore mean ones, clean up after yourself. Be strict about screen or gadget time, when they can have it and for how long. Privileges may increase or decrease depending on their grades.
7. Recognise that learning self-discipline is difficult.
Tell the children that you know how difficult it can be to learn self-discipline. Then tell them that you also know how strong and smart they are that is why they will be able to accomplish this just by trying hard enough.
8. Have rewards and consequences.
It is not easy, so be prepared to give words of encouragement when needed, rewards or words of praise when earned (no matter how
small) and consequences when called for.
When you see that they have been trying but need just a little push, give it. Encourage them with words that will make them feel good about themselves without being embarrassed. “Good job asking for my help, I didn’t realise how difficult that was.”
Let them know when they are doing a good job completing their chores, especially when they do it without being reminded. Phrases like “Thanks for cleaning your room this morning before I even asked you to” or “I am so proud you ate all your vegetables during dinner” even “You did an awesome job setting the table tonight” can go a long way and encourage them to do it more often.
You may choose to give small rewards as well. These do not have to be something material but can be a privilege like longer screen time or later bedtime during weekends. It can be a great motivation tool as well for younger children. A pre-schooler who is having difficulty at drop off can be rewarded with a cute sticker if he or she can go off to class without any drama.
There will be times when consequences will have to be given, make sure that it is an obvious logical consequence. For example, if the child has trouble waking up early for school then bedtime has to be moved to an earlier time. If the child has not been playing fairly, then he or she will have to sit out the next match.
Adults need to make it clear that the consequences are a result of their actions. Actions that they chose to do. This way, they will learn to think well before they act next time. They will learn how to make better decisions for themselves by evaluating possible consequences.
9. Be a role model.
For children, example really sets the tone. They learn from what they see us do, so make sure to show them that you know how to prioritise house chores over television or social media. When you are at home, spend quality time with your spouse and children without being interrupted by work. When you are out driving, let them know how you handle being angered by a bad driver.
Help your children early on by instilling self-discipline in them as this will serve them well as they grow up. Self-discipline will help them achieve great things in school, work, and whatever they want to pursue.