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Self-control is a fundamental skill that will be carried through one’s life. Being able to distinguish what you really need and what you want coupled with the ability to understand your emotions and how to react because of them is equally as important. Children are very impulsive by nature, so it is vital they learn self-discipline at a young age. From 3-5 years old, preschoolers are at prime age where they can gain essential skills like impulse and self-control.
How To Teach Preschoolers Self-Control
Teaching your children self-discipline and impulse control does not need to be difficult, and can be taught through simple techniques. There are several ways in which you can help your children gain these skills:
Respect and CommunicationChildren should come to you when you call them. Instead of them yelling across the room or ignoring you, they should come to where you are where they can partake in a respectful dialogue. This teaches them to respect people and the correct manner in which to approach a dialogue.
Understanding LimitsWhen shopping, or in any circumstance, if they want something that you feel is not necessary, you can teach them that “No means no!”, and that they should not throw tantrums just because they don’t get everything they ask for.
Understanding EmotionsWhen children don’t get what they want their first instinct is to throw a tantrum, this is a show of ill-discipline, you can teach them that if one is upset, they need to voice out their concerns in a calm logical way so that there can be proper conflict resolution.
Appropriate ResponsesTeaching children how to appropriately respond to correction is also important. Most children usually respond in a negative (aggressive and passive) manner when they are told they are wrong. This type of behavior is not acceptable when it becomes a habit. This becomes a great opportunity to teach them self-discipline and that there will be times in where they will be wrong but it’s okay, they should rather respond in a better manner the next time.
Money SenseRewarding your child when they have completed a task is okay, but if the reward is monetary, it is recommended that you teach your child to be sure of what they want before they spend their money, and not to be impulsive in their purchase. This can be done through initiating the old-fashioned piggy bank and savings goals.
RoutineAnother way to teach self-discipline is to instill daily routines, such as chores, bed times, and meal times if possible. This teaches them a form of structure and discipline.
Benefits Of Teaching Preschoolers Self Control
There are a range of benefits that come with impulse control, some in the present and others in the future. Pre-schoolers gain an advantage in their academic success when they have this type of self-discipline. They are able to be critical thinkers and take their time before making decisions in tests. They also gain a sense of patience; they are able to wait patiently in lines if needed; they are able to wait their turn during games, and they have enough self-awareness and confidence to not fall victim to peer pressure.
The benefits of teaching children self-control at a young age are also lifelong. Not only will your child understand the basic fundamentals of sharing and living in community with other people but they will also have the necessary skills to regulate their desires in order to achieve their goals as they get older.
Teaching children about self-control makes them more self-aware and emotionally intelligent the older they get. They are able to view situations objectively without being self-centered thereby being an active member of society who advocates for fairness in situations which are unfair.
Many people are born with gifts and talents which unfortunately never materialize successfully because of the lack of self-control. Having self-control can be the line between failure and success. Having and maintaining self-control means that children can better prioritize what is important and deserving of their attention in the long run.