Discipline strategies that will help parents develop effective self-control in their children. how to teach children. Most of the problems with the child’s behaviour are the result of a lack of proper impulse control (so-called impulse control). If your six-year-old is a frequent outcast and your sixteen-year-old son gets into trouble for his snarky remarks, they probably have impulse control issues.
Developing the ability to control your impulses requires a variety of skills. Most children develop the necessary control slowly over time. You can help your child develop these skills through a variety of discipline strategies.
- Teach children to recognize and control their own emotions. When children understand the difference between emotions and behaviour, it helps them control their impulses. A child who understands that it is okay to feel angry, but that it is okay to hit another person, knows that he has a choice in how to deal with his feelings without reacting impulsively and without hurting another person.
- Teach children the ability to listen. Sometimes children behave impulsively because they simply do not listen to instructions and instructions. Before you even finish your sentence, they get up and run away without hearing the main point of what you wanted to say. Teach your child to listen to instructions to the end and, before acting, repeat them for reliability.
- Teach problem-solving skills. When children develop problem-solving skills, they learn to think first and act second. Teach the child to find several solutions to the same problem, and then analyse which of them can give the best result. Then, instead of immediately hitting a peer who entered the game without a turn, the child will be able to come up with several different ways of reacting in a more peaceful manner.
- Teach anger management skills. The lack of “immunity” to unreasonable expectations and various kinds of failures can negatively affect impulse control. Teach the child to direct his own anger so that he knows how to calm down in moments of upset and negative emotions. She is less likely to seek revenge, break things, or hurt other people if she deeply understands the destructive power of her anger and the importance of inner work on managing this powerful feeling.
- Establish house rules. Clear rules help children better understand what is expected of them. When children know that it is not allowed to hit other people, they will not get into a fight. Set clear negative consequences for breaking the rules, and your child will be less likely to break them.
- Make a schedule and plan each day. A planned day helps achieve consistency and systematicity in discipline strategies. When children know what to expect, it reduces the likelihood of chaos and opportunities for impulsive behaviour. Set some clear limits and repeat the rules often for better things. When every time you go to the store, you tell your child: “You must hold my hand when crossing the street,” he is unlikely to run away from you on a dangerous part of the street.
- Practice delayed gratification. Help your child learn to delay gratification for a while. Sometimes parents do not tell their children about upcoming entertainment and surprises until the last moment, because they know that the child will pester them with requests to get it immediately. However, children should be able to practice patient waiting. A token reward system, for example, can be a great way to practice delaying gratification.
- Demonstrate proper behavior by your own example. A child learns a lot about impulse control by watching his parents. Set an example of patient waiting and delayed gratification. Teach the child internal dialogue, say out loud your thoughts and comments, being in a state of expectation of something, and also address them to the child. Having developed his own internal dialogue, the child will more easily direct his impulses.
- Encourage physical activity. When children are physically active, they direct their impulses better. If children are a bundle of unspent energy, they act without thinking. Encourage exercise and moderate activity so children grow up physically and mentally healthy.
- Play games that develop the ability to control impulses. Games allow the child to practice impulse control in a fun and interesting way. For example, such games as “The sea waves once”, “Traffic light”, “Repeat after the leader” suggest the use of impulse control. There is a Stanford University study that shows that games that develop memory also improve impulse control.
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