Helping your child develop self-control can be extremely beneficial to help them succeed in the classroom, and in building positive relationships in the future. Self-control is when children learn inhibition of strong impulses, such as screaming, hitting, or throwing things. Here are some tips help your child develop this skillset early on.
- Identify Feelings. We have all seen those doctor’s office charts using faces to identify levels of pain. Using something similar that shows a range of happy to sad, or excited to angry, emotions can help your child identify what they are feeling and communicate that easier. Once they identify how they are feeling, you can do the same so that they can recognize how their words and actions can affect others as well.
- Use words to express/ communicate how they feel. Once they are ready to have a problem-solving conversation, have them follow this guide to ensure it goes smoothly:
- Wait to calm down before I talk
- Understand why I feel angry
- Tell the other person “I am angry because…”
- Let the other person talk
- Say “I prefer next time that you….. instead.”
- Show them ways to handle anger and frustration, if they feel out of control.
How to calm down:
- Take deep breaths and count to 10
- Take a break by myself
- Write out my feelings on paper and then tear it up
- Do something physical like run, jumping jacks, or go for a walk
Show them this 4 step process of calming down before they approach a conversation. This helps them get their anger impulses out of their system and approach a conflict rationally.
With practice, your child can train their brain to have better self-control. Remember that parents are the best teachers. Being aware of how you handle stressful situations will show them the difference between a positive and negative response to conflict. It’s important to note that some impulse control problems could be because of an underlying condition like ADHD, so it’s important to get your child assessed if they’re struggling to develop self-control. Following these few tips and keeping them a part of your daily routine will help aid in learning self-control.
It’s hard to avoid the dreaded “I’m bored” statement from your kids. They like constant amusement, and when technology is at their fingertips, it’s difficult to encourage outdoor activities. Use this as a guide for motivating your children to get outside and enjoy the spring weather.
1. Have a picnic! Suggesting a change of setting can help create some excitement in you and your child’s daily routine. Having lunch outside at a park can facilitate new conversations and also encourage outdoor rather than indoor play.
2. Play with sidewalk chalk. Sidewalk chalk is such an underrated activity. It promotes an imaginative approach, and when the canvas is so large, their imagination is limitless. They can even use the chalk to draw up other games like hopscotch or foursquare.
3. Join a neighborhood cleanup day. Encouraging earth-friendly practices early in life can help facilitate those behaviors later. Use a beautiful day to teach your child about the importance of recycling and caring for the earth.
4. Plant a garden. This activity is a very useful one as well as being fun for the whole family! Planting your own food, herbs, and flowers teach your child many valuable skills. Teaching them to grow their own food promotes healthy eating, and it’s a very good introduction to caring for something and is a good step before getting a pet.
5. Go for a bike ride. Riding a bicycle is not only fun, but it’s an incredibly good workout activity. If your child doesn’t know how to ride a bike, it’s a good opportunity for you to teach them. If your child is too young to ride a bike, think about getting a seat attachment so that they can enjoy the day as well. Just don’t forget the sunscreen!
6. Backyard camping. Not everyone has the time or money to go on a camping trip, but why not just do it in your own backyard? You can roast marshmallows, look at the stars, (carefully) build a fire.
7. Make a sandbox. This is a great activity for kids of all ages! And can be a good activity for children with a sensory processing difficulty as well. You can get a storage bin and fill it up with sand. Some simple tiny shovels and cups can turn any day into a beach day.
8. Take a tour of your city. If you live in an urban neighborhood, some outdoor activities are limited, but there is still so much exploring to do! Many cities offer self-guided walking tours or scavenger hunts which could be an exciting day trip for you and your kids.
9. Get to know your neighborhood. At the beginning of each month, make a list with your kids of places to visit and things to do. Lots of museums and amusement parks offer free or discounted admission for kids. If your schedule your outings ahead of time, you’ll be more likely to go!
10. Plan a community day. How well do you know other families in your neighborhood? Planning a community event like a barbecue or a community kickball game can help your kids get to know other children their age in the area. You can also get them to help you make invitations, crafts, and decorations for the event!
We’re all guilty of spending too much time indoors, but next time your kids tell you that they’re looking for something to do, you have this nifty guide to refer to and suggest fun activities all spring long!