Many parents believe that kids who behave well automatically have self-discipline. We hate to break it to you, but that’s not true. According to experts, children with self-discipline can make good and healthy choices whether or not there’s a reward, and no matter what they feel. They can control impulsive behavior, manage uncomfortable emotions, and respond respectfully.
Teaching kids the art of self-discipline can also allow them to understand the importance of healthy choices, from self-care, peer pressure, homework to chores. If you think nagging your kids to do their homework or scolding them for wrongdoings can help them develop self-discipline, you’re wrong. Below are a few simple tips on how to teach your kids to be self-disciplined in a healthy way.
Make them understand why
Before anything else, it’s important that your kid is aware and he or she understands the reason behind any rules you are opting to impose. It is not a good habit to tell your kids what they should do just because you said so. Explain why you are making those rules and what purpose it will serve them. You can start with simple rules such as doing their homework first so they can have playtime.
If you’re planning to give them a stricter routine, make sure to also talk to them and explain its purpose, as well as the underlying consequence of not doing it. Even such a simple explanation can greatly help in eliminating negativity in the rules.
Create a healthy structure
It’s a popular recommendation for parents to create healthy routines for their kids to teach proper self-discipline. As parents, it’s obviously your responsibility to ensure your children are following a routine that’s good for them. You can start simply by creating their daily schedule, from waking up, getting dress to finishing their homework.
For more fun and comfortable health routine, make sure to do things and activities as a family. You can go to your family dentist during the weekends and follow it with playtime at the park to make your kids look forward to it. You can also go grocery shopping with them and expose them to the different kinds of healthy food you’re preparing every day on your table.
Impose natural consequences
Little kids and even young adults don’t often pay full attention to rules. If this is the case, giving out natural consequences would be necessary. Instead of forcing them to bring that umbrella every single time, let them face the scorching heat or heavy rain so they will remember to bring it next time.
Talk to them about the negative consequences of their poor choices and let them decide. Power struggles are not recommended when it comes to teaching your kids to be self-disciplined. It can, in fact, potentially make them even more stubborn. Letting them face the consequences of their behavior can help them recognize the importance of healthy choices.
Solve problems ‘with’ them
We get it; it can be hard for a parent to resist helping out their kids even with the simplest tasks. But if you want to teach them self-discipline, you will need to stop solving their problems for them. Instead, work with them to correct certain challenges.
For instance, if your child often gets annoyed with getting dressed for school, you can help them prepare a night before and let them choose what to wear, particularly if they have no uniform. As for more complex issues, asking them for suggestions can result in improved creativity and imagination. Removing a privilege can sometimes be an effective solution for teenagers who can seem to find time to do their homework.
Stay consistent and be a model
Of course, you can’t expect your child to be self-disciplined if they don’t even see it in you. Be a role model for your kids and show them what good behavior and self-discipline are. Experts warn that parents can help their little ones achieve self-discipline if they are not exhibiting good behavior and choices in their lives.
For instance, if you’re always procrastinating or forgetting your errands, your child will certainly find it hard to be conscientious and punctual. Your child can learn best by watching you. Work on areas where you struggle the most, whether it’s losing your temper or spending too much money. Avoid being a lousy example to your kid and show them how to act and decide the right way.
As a parent, it’s crucial to understand that learning self-discipline can be a continuous process. It can take years for your kids to be totally self-discipline. But by following these tips, you can help your kids foster healthy habits and choices at an early age, making it easier for them to future life’s challenges.