Developing Self Control in Children

by Oyebola Oyeleye

 My six years old nephew seems to have no idea of self-restrain, if he sees something he wants, he must get it immediately! When he angry he throws tantrum. I start to wonder, is this a normal behavior for children? Is it just a phase that he will outgrow?

In our culture today, adults and children constantly hear messages encouraging them to do whatever they want, to give in to their urges, but according to a research, children that show self-control and patience between ages 4 – 10 will do better as adults than those than didn’t emotionally, socially and academically.

Your role as a parent includes raising children with good character and this can be achieved in the following ways;

Set an example: the most straight forward way to help our children develop self-control is to exhibit it ourselves; does your child see you loose your temper while you are in a traffic jam? Do you jump queue in his or her presence?

Let your child know the consequences of being impatient, help your child see that there are benefits in resisting his/her urges. If your child is angry over something, you can ask him to count to ten to allow the angry subside.

Praise your child when he displays self-control. Let him know that it is a sign of strength when he can suppress his urges. Proverbs 16:32 “The one slow to anger is better than a mighty man”

Reward Positive behaviours and rebuke negative ones: If a child cries and cries for biscuit and you give it to him, you have just taught him that crying is an effective way to get whatever you want, instead give the child biscuit for a good behavior. Many parents cave in to crying because it feel easier or they can’t stand to deprived the child of what he/she wants.

Finally, the bible says “foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child” so do not expect your child to develop self-control overnight.

Be Patient and pray along in raising your children in a godly way. The effort is definitely worthwhile.

 

TRAIN UP A CHILD IN THE WAY HE SHOULD GROW AND WHEN HE IS GROWN HE WILL NOT DEPART FROM IT. PROV 22:6

 

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