As a working parent, you have always got something on your mind. It might be thinking about getting what you need for your family at the medical equipment store or scheduling the next doctor’s appointment. You are even thinking of more if you are working out of your home with children in the mix.
If you run a business from your home, you know all too well how important discipline is. While it may be true that you need to instill discipline within your child, it’s important to know that the best type of disciplinary strategy you can teach your child is self-discipline. By teaching our children self-discipline, it will help them to resist unhealthy temptations when no one is looking, delay gratification, as well as to tolerate uncomfortable situations so that they can reach their long term goals.
From choosing when they’ve had enough video games, to ensuring that their homework is done, self-discipline is key to having a successful adult life. Let’s take a look at some things your child can do to practice self-discipline.
1) Establish Structure
Create a routine that your child will have to follow on a daily basis. For instance, a good morning routine to conduct is to ensure that the children eat breakfast at a certain time as well as to brush their teeth and groom themselves. After school, you can set a schedule as to when the child should play games, do homework, or partake in an activity. By ensuring that your child maintains this consistency, it will instill the belief that balance is the key to being able to work and play every day.
2) Natural Consequences
Logical consequences are defined as being consequences that another person inflicts, such as to punish your child for leaving without their jacket. An example of natural consequences would be that the child felt cold at recess for not having their jackets. In a situation like that, a child would benefit more from a natural consequence than a logical one. In fact, parenting experts proclaim that natural consequences can teach children some of life’s greatest lessons.
3) Reward System
Punishment and consequences help to reinforce positive behavior. In the same breath, your child should be rewarded for positive behavior as well. One of the ways you can do this is to create a reward jar that is tied to their allowance. This can serve as an incentive to do what they need to do in order to get a good amount for their weekly or monthly allowance.
4) Be Like Socrates
Socrates was a great Greek teacher not because he gave knowledge and wisdom to others, he was a great teacher because he made people seek the answers from within. Similarly, with your children, you shouldn’t try to solve the problem for them, but rather with them. One of the ways you can do this is to make them understand that the best solutions for their problems lie within and that you will be there to give feedback and suggestions.
5) Give Plenty of Feedback
By giving your children plenty of feedback, you will get them in the habit of accepting constructive criticism. This in itself will help them to make more positive decisions since they know certain actions will lead to truthful yet, negative feedback. Alternatively, telling children that they are always right will hamper self-discipline and restrict self-development. In addition to that, if your child does their homework incorrectly for instance, and you tell them it’s fine as opposed to the fact that it needs to be redone, they will get in the habit of feeling like they are always right and take constructive criticism outside of the home poorly.
6) Teach the Importance of Determination
Determination and persistence is key when it comes to gaining any form of success as a parent and in life. By leading by example, we can teach and show our children that following through with a commitment is an important character trait. We essentially demonstrate by example that while emotions and distractions may work against our focus, by keeping those things at bay and staying on track, life can take you far.
Another way to instill self-discipline is to simply explain the reasons behind the rules. If you tell a child do their homework because you said so, they will not feel motivated to do it when no one is looking. But if you continuously reinforce that they should do their homework so they have plenty of free time for games, they will naturally go with the flow of order by themselves.