Whatever disciplinary method you choose with your child, the ultimate objective of your parenting technique should be to teach your child self-control.

Self-discipline teaches children to postpone satisfaction, reject harmful temptations, and bear the discomfort required to achieve long-term goals. Self-discipline is essential to helping youngsters become responsible people, from turning off the video game to concentrate on homework to avoiding an extra cookie while Mom isn’t looking.

It is critical to provide children with the tools they need to develop self-discipline as well as opportunities to practice making good decisions.

  1. Provide Structure

Create the same schedule every day, and your youngster will become accustomed to it. They are less likely to get sidetracked by other activities if they know what they are meant to be doing.

A proper morning routine teaches children when it is appropriate to eat breakfast, comb their hair, wash their teeth, and dress. A solid after-school schedule teaches children how to balance chores, homework, and pleasant activities. A consistent bedtime routine will also help children relax and fall asleep quickly.

  1. Explain the Reason Behind Your Rules

When it comes to teaching kids how to make healthy choices, an authoritative approach works best because it helps youngsters comprehend why the rules exist.

Instead, of stating, “Do your schoolwork immediately because I said so,” explain why the rule is in place.

“As a reward for finishing your work, it’s a good idea to do your assignment first and then relax later. ” This helps your child understand the underlying reasons for your policies.  Instead of stating, “My mom said I had to do this,” your youngster will understand why the rules exist.

  1. Give Consequences


Natural consequences may sometimes teach us some of life’s most important lessons. A youngster who consistently forgets to grab their jacket as they rush out the door will not learn if their jacket is always delivered to school by a parent. Facing the natural consequences of their actions (such as feeling cold during recess) may help kids remember to fetch their coats the next time.

  1. Shape Behavior One Step at a Time

Self-discipline is an ongoing effort that takes years to perfect. Use age-appropriate punishment techniques to gradually change behavior. 

Rather than expecting a 6-year-old to suddenly be able to execute their full morning ritual without prompting, hang a visual chart on the wall depicting combing hair, brushing teeth, and getting dressed. You may also photograph your youngster performing these tasks and make your own chart.

Remind your kid to look at the chart as needed until he is able to look at the chart and complete each assignment on his own. They will eventually require fewer reminders and will no longer use the chart.

When your child is learning a new skill or developing independence, assist them by taking little steps at a time.

  1. Praise Good Behavior

When your youngster exhibits self-control, give him or her positive attention and praise. Make a note of the nice conduct you’d want to see more of. Instead of saying, “Good job not beating your brother when you were upset,” instead, “Good job using your words to resolve the matter.” 

Sometimes good behavior is overlooked. Praise for excellent decisions raises the probability that the child will repeat the action.

Praise children when they accomplish tasks without needing to be reminded. Congratulations for completing your task before I even told you! or “I’m extremely proud of you for cleaning your room all by yourself today.” Even stating something like, “Great job placing your plate in the sink after you finished eating,” will promote a repeat action.

  1. Teach Problem-Solving Skills


Teach problem-solving skills and collaborate to address particular self-discipline concerns. Asking children what they believe might be useful may be an eye-opening experience that leads to imaginative ideas.

A simple remedy to a behavior problem may exist.

A youngster who has difficulty getting ready in time for school may benefit from having their clothes chosen the night before. Setting a five-minute timer may also help children stay on track.

More difficult issues may need a succession of trial-and-error approaches. An adolescent who isn’t doing their homework may require multiple alterations before they are inspired to do their schoolwork on their own. Consider withdrawing a privilege. If it doesn’t work, have them remain after school to see if they can finish their work before coming home.

Continue to test new ideas until you discover one that works while keeping your youngster involved in the process.

  1. Model Self-Discipline

Children learn best by observing adults. If your child notices you delaying or watching TV instead of cleaning the dishes, they will pick up on your bad behaviors. Make it a point to demonstrate self-discipline.

Pay attention to areas where you may be lacking in discipline. Perhaps you overspend or lose your temper when you’re furious. Work on those areas and communicate to your child that you want to do better.

  1. Reward Good Behavior

Certain behavioral difficulties can be addressed with a reward system. A sticker chart might motivate a preschooler who struggles to sleep in their own bed. A token economy system might help an older child who is struggling to finish schoolwork and chores on time.

Short-term reward mechanisms should be used. As your youngster gains self-control, gradually reduce their use.

Remember that there are various non-monetary incentives available.  Use extra perks, such as electronics time, to encourage your youngster to become more responsible


Article by

Rose .A. Milani,

Parent Coach and Registered Mental Health Counsellor

Based in Melbourne, Australia



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