Children are the hope for a better future for all humanity. At all times, the concepts of evolution and progress are based on providing what is best for the younger generations. It's a natural inclination that is vital for the survival of our species. Apart from securing the best possible material conditions, it's vital to equip all children with mental and psychological strength. Thus, teaching self-discipline to children is rather a necessity than a luxury. Let's take a look at the best methods for achieving that.
Teach your kids the importance of routine
The learning process for all living beings is quite similar: Parents teach their little ones what they should do to survive. Either it's a lion learning the little lions how they should hunt or a mother showing her child how to have a bath by itself, the mental process is similar. Familiarisation with the environment and repetitive movements are key points for the completion of learning. So, what do all parents apply in all cases for their offspring to function properly and gradually become autonomous? They teach the importance of routine. This time, referring to the concept of routine, we emphasise its positive aspects. No person in the world has ever gained new knowledge without reading or practising over and over again. The importance of routine in teaching self-discipline is, therefore, crucial to providing the context for all learning to occur. Teaching your kids to use routine for their benefit, is a top priority action for all you parents.
Be the role model when for your children
This is a fundamental part of the successful teaching of self-discipline. Parents should be the ideal role models for their kids. There's absolutely no point teaching one thing and practising the exact opposite. Such inconsistency between words and actions could result in a negative direction. Instead of your children following your words, they could do the exact opposite. Children often react sentimentally and when they feel that they are not told the truth, anything is possible. We should never forget that the family environment is the first they come along with. Fathers and mothers are their eternal role models. The validity of parental advice always comes without question. But what would happen if your children receive contradictory messages?
Practice what you preach
Let's take an example: All parents naturally advise their kids to take precautionary measures when it's raining outside. Using an umbrella or wearing a jacket with a hood are the actions to preventing from getting wet. But if you come home soaking wet, a contradiction arises. Another, much more harmful, example could be teaching the harmful effects of smoking and then smoking like a chimney yourself. Consequently, parents are in danger of losing their authority in the eyes of their children. This could be an unwanted sequence of events that implies further dangers for the future. Parents should always practice what they preach when teaching their children. They are the strictest judges of their words and actions because they are their heroes. Heroes should never disappoint their fans.
Follow a step by step approach
Teaching is a process with numerous parameters. It neither works as a one-way flow of communication nor is it a purely mechanical action, where the teacher just speaks and the learner only listens. Especially when talking about teaching self-discipline to your children, there should be careful planning and a gradual approach. While it's true that children can successfully assimilate new information-sometimes even faster than adults- they are not machines. They need their time appropriate time for learning to be effective. Additionally, self-discipline is a mental trait and its principles apply to all aspects of life. Self-disciplined individuals indeed tend to be more effective and successful in all parts of their adult lives in comparison to undisciplined people. Parents should follow a step by step approach and not rush to explain everything in one day. Patience and method are the perfect “ingredients” for accomplishing the goals of teaching self-discipline to children.
Explain your self-discipline methods
Throughout the process of teaching self-discipline to your children, there is a principle that parents should never forget: Always explain and seek interaction. This is a two-way flow of communication. No matter how good the intentions are and how efficient the teaching might be, it will never be that effective if it's imposed without consent. Children are not their parents' properties and should be treated with respect at all times. The bottom line is that all fathers and mothers must provide an explanation to their children for their methods of discipline. The choice of language is a basic tool for managing that as well as the tone of voice. Instead of using imperative sentences (do this, do that etc.) it would be much more influential to suggest (it would be useful to or you should try to). Such a distinction could be the difference between success and failure. Children's psychology is different from adults. Push them too hard and you may get the opposite results. Show respect to them and you could achieve miracles.
Ask and provide feedback
This is also a core part of teaching self-discipline to children. Every once in a while, parents should ask children to speak about their experience from the whole self-discipline teaching course. This is very significant, as it allows the evaluation of the process and leaves open room for improvement. All people are unique personalities, therefore there is not just one simple and unfailing method that applies equally well for all. There should be variations according to the unique traits of each personality. For example, if a child expresses discomfort over a certain routine process that doesn't seem to work, the parent should look for alternative variations. Remember though that the arguments should be solid and not just a way for children to avoid hard work.
Similarly, parents must give feedbacks to their children depending on their performances. Failing to do so or always providing positive feedback could be a setback to the development of children. This is also a vital part of teaching self-discipline, because
- It learns children to accept criticism
- It reinforces the concept of self-evaluation.
It's also a tool for future success, providing children with the motivation to apply different technique for receiving praise. Again, the use of language from parents should be careful with no offensive words or expressions.
Self-discipline is a lesson for life
Teaching self-discipline to children is not an easy task. It requires patience, persistence and flexibility. Its importance though is huge. Because self-discipline is not an asset just for the child age. On the contrary, it’s an asset for life. Undisciplined children will, most likely, become undisciplined adults and that could negatively affect all aspects of their lives. Feelings of anger and resentfulness often come from failure to learn and practice self-discipline from a young age. The same goes for any possible difficulties to form lasting relationships and friendships. To take it even further, teaching self-discipline is like a chain reaction. Parents should be self-disciplined for teaching their children who will also teach their children and so on. Finally, it's a matter of social coherence. Happy and complete persons will make a better society, forming the conditions for prosperous lives.