Parent Magazine St. Johns October 2019 - Page 19

kids are given tasks that they do not always enjoy, they must use self-control to complete them. Taking the time to figure out what motivates your child will help them be successful, reach their goals, and increase self-control. For some children this may be a reward for completing assigned chores such as an allowance, an outing, or time with a parent or friend. Each child and family situation is different so it may take a few attempts to figure out what works well for your household. Enforce limits Setting limits for children and enforcing them is healthy for all families, but it also has the added benefit of teaching young children self-control. If a child’s ball rolls into the street, they have to make a quick decision whether to run after the ball or stop and ask an adult to retrieve it. A child who waits is showing that they understand the limits their parents have set and they are exercising self-control as they wait to get the ball back. Enforcing limits at a young age and giving kids the choice to stay in the limits or step out of them (within reason) helps them develop self-control. Delay gratification and reward self-control When teaching self-control it is important to reward kids for waiting, for finishing the task, and for working hard over time. In today’s society, instant gratification is becoming the norm. By delaying the reward, kids have a goal to work towards and they feel a sense of accomplishment because they have worked toward and completed their goals. This method teaches not only self- control, but also builds self-esteem and emphasizes the value of hard work. Self-control and Discipline Quite often, young children become upset when being disciplined. Teaching children to respond positively to correction helps build self-control. Try these tips: Teach children to work through their emotions Don’t brush off their feelings, talk through them Model appropriate behavior and self-control Enforce limits and praise the child when they make a good choice Be consistent with discipline S T. J O H N S parent M A G A Z I N E | 19