Self-control is about regulating our emotions. It is the ability to manage ourselves to reach an end goal. You might have heard of the famous Marshmallow experiment where kids were tested how long they could resist a treat. There are of course many other ways you could help your child develop self-control, like the “1 minute Peppy Talks” below.
Exercise: Start by discussing self-control on a level that your child can relate to. Mention an example; “You know sometimes when we have dessert and I ask you to wait a minute before digging in.”
Ask: How do you do to control yourself from eating the cake (or any other example you can relate to). You can always share how you do to control yourself.
- Why do you think we need to control our impulses in certain situations?
- Why are there situations when we don’t have to think about controlling ourselves?
- Can you think of a situation when you failed to control your impulses/feelings?
- How did that make you feel? What happened?
Purpose: To practice self-control to reach our goals
Want to experience more? Practicing self-control is easy to embed in everyday parenting. When your child is anxious about something, perhaps she has climbed too high and can get down. Instantly you might feel you have to “rescue” the situation by grabbing her, but that’s not teaching much self-control. If you can guide her down and stay calm she will learn to control and talk to herself to solve a similar situation in the future.