It’s never too early to start giving your children the tools they’ll need to be successful throughout their lives. As you focus on this goal, remember that self-control isn’t just about waiting; it also includes self-regulation and self-motivation. Read on for eight tips on how to help your children learn self-control.
One of the most frustrating stages of toddlerhood can be when a child learns to master the word, “No.” Between the ages of 15 and 30 months, a toddler begins to realize that they are a separate person from their parents; a person who has their own will and their own mind. As this realization sets in, a child begins to discover their independence and begins to practice asserting this independence to all who will listen. It’s this stage of development that is usually marked by a child singing a seemingly continuous chorus of a loud and proud, “No.”
The way a child is treated emotionally by their parents determines how they’ll treat themselves as an adult. For example, a child who does not receive praise and attention for their small accomplishments, and the pride they feel, may grow up with low self-regard and little confidence in their own abilities. If you ignore your child’s emotions, your child will feel ignored on some level, no matter how much attention you pay to them in other ways.
Clothes having to match, just so. Toys arranged in neat rows. Outbursts over not being able to get a task right the first time. These behaviors can indicate to parents that they may have a perfectionist on their hands, for better or worse. Perfectionists have high standards. Perfectionists can be driven to achieve. But they can also get tied up in knots over their expectations of themselves. And as psychologist Madeline Levine suggests in her book Teach Your Children Well, performance-oriented children “are so afraid of failing that they challenge themselves far less, take fewer risks and therefore limit opportunities for growth.”
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