As our children grow, they will be faced with many difficult choices. Each choice they make will determine their success in school, friendships, and their future. Every parent’s goal is to raise kids who make smart decisions. So how do we begin to teach them to make good choices in the moment? The answer is by teaching them self-control. Self-control is defined as the ability to control oneself. In particular, one’s emotions and desires, especially in difficult situations. So, as a parent, how do you go about teaching it to your kids?
“Why do you talk like that?” I heard the question come from behind me as I helped another child in the Sunday school class. “It’s just the way I am,” I heard my sister-in-law wisely answer the curious boy. My sister-in-law, Kara, was born with Cerebral Palsy. She was helping me in the Sunday school classroom that day when one of the kids noticed her speech was different. Kara has been taught to answer, “It’s just the way I am” after years of questions about her differences.
Driving home, you ask your kids what happened at school today. Your son mumbles, “Nothing,” in his casual, I-dare-you-to-ask-for-more-information kind of way. Before you can follow up, your daughter chimes in, “I hate Maddie. She told Sarah she thinks my hair is ugly, and now Sarah won’t let me sit with them at lunch. They’re not my friends anymore. I hate them both.”
When your child throws a tantrum, it is easy to get frustrated, overwhelmed, angry, and embarrassed, especially if the tantrum occurs in public. Unfortunately, the occasional tantrum cannot be avoided; they happen to every parent. But while your child is in the throes of a fit, try to remember these tips.
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