October 28, 2011

Self-Discipline -- Helping Children Develop Self-Control

Self-discipline is a procedure of training and educating children to acquire an acceptable behavior in varying circumstances.  The process is done by depriving privileges and seldom by imposing punishment.  This is the most important factor parents must do to shape a child's character.  It is also acquired through different trainings and activities. Unfortunately, self-control is a great character most children don't possess.

Teaching children self-control or self-discipline is a skill to encourage oneself to practice despite unfavorable conditions.  Some qualities related to it are hard work, perseverance, and will power. 

Characteristics of Self-Discipline

1.   It is a work.  A great example of self-discipline is portrayed in this story.  Deafening applause spread out the concert hall.  A young renowned pianist has just perfectly rendered his last piece of music.  A man from the audience got up his way through the stage to congratulate the musician.  At last he grasped his hand and uttered, “I would give all my own life just to play like that.”  The young pianist answered ‘I have done it that way, Sir!’”

It takes diligence, control and hard work before anything in this world is achieved.  All things in life is about work. It is important that children understand this.  They can’t just ask their parents or anyone to do something for them.  

If you hear your son complaining that learning to play a guitar is too difficult to do, remind him that the more he exerts efforts the easier it becomes.  Long patience, resilience, determination and self-control are all related to practicing self-discipline.

Avoid doing all things for the child.  Let him work at what is needed to control his impulses.  Don’t immediately gratify the child by buying him a toy he wants.  Train him to work for it, save money and to buy one for himself.

2.   It is a matter of choice.  Parents can always help their children stop developing bad habits through self-control.  During the early age, train the child to choose right actions.  Hitting a sibling is a choice to do not because of what has happened.  It’s a virtue to teach a child that nobody can make him mad.  He only becomes angry because he chooses to be angry.  As your child keeps learning self-discipline and control, he’ll have the full understanding that he’s the one in charge of his entire life.  When he fully understands this, he’s giving himself empowerment to boost further his self-control, capabilities and choices in life.

3.   It goes with a prize.  Self-discipline gives various rewards.  Imagine a child who does control himself and work hard on his studies to get “A.” Or a sporty son who rehearses consistent batting and scores a home run.  And how about a child who does not give revenge or beat his sibling? Does he deserve an appreciation from the parents?  In the same extent, all these deeds call for self-control and self-discipline to bring in great rewards. 

Explain to children that most of the rewards and success they earn are generated by self-discipline and self-control.   On the other hand, tell your child that not getting good grades can’t be blamed on a teacher.  Or, a sport’s failure can’t be anyone else’s failure.  It is the child who is responsible for the consequences simply because he has not applied self-discipline.

Self-discipline helps children to develop self-control to suppress their outbursts; it is never relying on people to control them.  That’s why children have no reason to harm themselves as well as others—physically or verbally.  Bear in mind that it is a trait every parent should teach to a child.  Self-discipline is about building up self-control.  


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Related topics on self-control and self-discipline:
Self-Discipline -- Helping Children Develop Self-Control  is  a post on  Modern Parenting Tips: Styles & Approach to Train & Discipline Children

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