Activities for Teaching Self Control

By implementing some basic activities for teaching self control, you will show your child how to make the right decisions and how to react to stressful situations in a positive manner. 

Not all children are created equally. Neither are tantrums. Since most children learn by example, you need to react to stressful situations in your life positively. Remaining calm and collected under stress is a good way to teach your child that discipline, combined with love, will bring about strong results.

Activities to teach self control depend on your child's age. Infants and toddlers become easily frustrated. The typical response when they are unable to do what they want to do is to throw a tantrum.  Toys and other activities serve as wonderful distractions for children up to age two.

As your child nears the terrible twos, you might want to consider adding a timeout period.  Timeout should always occur in the same selected area. This attitude adjustment time should be spent with the child sitting quietly for a certain amount of time. Timeout teaches self control by showing there are consequences for a disruptive action. 

From age three to five, timeout can still be a powerful tool to teach self control. Instead of following a certain time limit, stop the timeout once the tantrum subsides. Once your child has quieted down, offer praise for being quiet during a difficult situation.

Once your child starts school, he or she will have an improved understanding of the correlation between good and bad behaviors and consequences. One method to use with six to nine year olds is to have them visualize a stop sign, think about the situation, and consider options. A cooling off period will help prevent an outburst. 

When your child reaches the middle school years, he should have a better grasp of his emotions. When he loses control, have him break down the situation into what bothers him and why it bothers him. From age 10 to 12, your child will need time to consider his choices before reacting. If the situation happens at home, time alone in his bedroom will bring some clarity.

Once your child hits junior high and high school, he should be able to control his actions. A gentle reminder about consequences for inappropriate actions never hurts. Evaluating the problem before offering a response will result in a positive outcome. If your child resorts to slamming doors, blaring music or yelling, revoking a privilege sends a strong message.

Handling your child's outbursts doesn't have to be a headache. By teaching self control from birth, your child will have the skills and know-how to make positive choices.

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