Does your toddler understand that he is not supposed to do something but does it anyway? Does that make you angry? Do you feel like shouting at your kid? We have all been in that situation but hold on. Show restraint. While your toddler, and even older kids for that matter, may understand right from wrong, the ability to control impulses doesn’t develop at the same rate. Self-control develops across years, the biggest development occurring between the ages of 3 and 10.
Now that you know that young children can’t regulate their behaviour so easily, you will be more understanding and patient with your kids. Won’t you?
However, you can and you should help your kids develop self-control and self-discipline.
Here are some tips:
- Control the environment: If you are seen with your mobile or TV all the time, can you blame your kid if she wants it too? Control the environment rather than the child, to avoid temptation. Keep things out of sight. And that includes junk food, mobiles, remotes, tabs and PCs.
- Remind constantly: Remind your children about rules, explain right from wrong patiently and many times. But do that in context and when they are listening.
- Appreciate good behaviour: Appreciate when they show self-restraint. You could reward them with material things and it may work. But plain applause instead of bribes and rewards, may help them appreciate the intrinsic value of doing the right things. Do right for the sake of doing right, not for a candy or toy.
- Be empathetic: Take the soft approach and explain rather than punishing them. Talk to them about their feelings.
- Rest and nourishment: Ensure your kids are well fed and well rested. Restraint is hard for a hungry or tired child. Make sure your kids get enough sleep and downtime, especially between challenging or difficult tasks.