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Self Control with Kids

Rearing children is one of the toughest jobs in the world. A great amount of resilience and patience is required while tending to their needs, requirements and demands. This patience is acquired over time with the effective use of self-control. All adults who encounter children need to exhibit levels of understanding and patience in order to help the child grow and learn.

Self-control by Parents

The adult group that needs to exercise self-control towards children the most are parents, especially the parent who tends to the children more. In some communities, it may be the mother who is the homemaker and is thus in charge of raising the children. At every age, children have demands, some reasonable while the others are completely unreasonable. Moreover, this irrationality can lead to tantrums as well when their wants are not met with. Parents need to restrain themselves and behave in an unperturbed manner in such situations as it is bound to get on the parents’ nerves. The use of self-control is constantly required when dealing with children. For example, hitting a child into silence will not solve the problem at hand and such situations will either make the child more aggressive or recoil into a shell. Amongst all human relationships, the parent-child association is probable the one that needs large doses of restraint (from the parent) and discipline (for the kids). Both restraint and discipline are manifestations of self-control. Some of the best options for parents, when faced with a situation where children are acting difficult, is to

  • Count till 10 until the parent can calm himself/herself to think reasonably and the child realises that there is no effect on the parent from his attention-getting techniques

  • Walk away from the room, i.e., ignore the child till the child calms down

These forms of self-control should be utilised instead of impromptu actions and words, which can lead to bitterness between the parent and child. As it is commonly said, ‘Anger makes the tongue move faster than t he mind’.

Self-control by Teachers

After the parents, the next group in constant interaction with children are their teachers at school. These educationists play a dual role of educating the children in academic matters as well as training them to be good human beings. However, if a child behaves badly at home, he/she is bound to do the same in the school leading to some amount of disciplining at both places. Teachers are often faced with a dilemma regarding the amount of action to be taken on a child demonstrating bad behaviour as they are not the child’s parents and hence do not have total rights over the child. Teachers, therefore, have to apply large amounts of self-control when dealing with children under their supervision. Therefore, it is often noticed, that teachers overlook minor misbehaviours from children; and in this too, they apply self-control from taking action against the child.

Self-control by Care Givers

Apart from parents and teachers, many children are taken care of by caregivers either at home or at a crèche. These caregivers occupy a similar place in the child’s life, as does a teacher. They have limited control over the children and have to restrain themselves from acting harshly with disobedient children. Caregivers have to discipline themselves constantly to react to children’s woes, anxieties and anger with decorum. While a parent may, at times, lose his/her cool and be harsh with the children, the same is unacceptable if done by a caregiver. These caregivers must crush their own feelings and emotions and toe the line of purely being there to look after the children. This requires a lot of self-control.

As children are immature, they rarely guide themselves by what is wrong and what is right. Hence, they become demanding in nature with expectations that every whim and fancy will be catered to. Therefore, it becomes the responsibility of the parents, teachers, and caregivers to apply self-control upon themselves while tending to these demands.