Parenting Connection: Four ways to teach young children self-control

Parenting Connection

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: Four ways to teach young children self-control

Child development experts say, early childhood is the best time to teach concepts of self control because it’ll allow young kids to learn how to manage their own emotions, plus empathize with others around them as they grow older.

Developmental experts say self-control does more than just create a well-behaved child — as it’s also a strong predictor of academic success later in life because it involves thinking skills. In addition, a child who is able to have good self-control can cooperate with others, cope with frustration, and resolve conflicts on their own – so it’s a positive socially as well.

The following four developmental stages parents can use to help young children develop self-control include:

*Establishing a sense of self and body boundaries. Experts say, kids learning to recognize where their bodies begin and end goes a long way to understanding themselves.

*Managing impulses and being able to stop. Experts say, young children are just beginning to learn that there is a connection between their behavior and the results of their behavior — and helping them recognize that they can stop and have some control is essential.

*Learning ways to channel anger and other strong emotions. Parents need to show thier kids appropriate ways to deal with these emotions. It can be as easy as giving them a hug or going for a walk to cool things down, re-group, and move forward without additional stress.

*Channeling feelings in symbolic, constructive, and organized ways. Children also learn by example, so be a model for appropriate expressions of emotions.

Self-control ultimately means being able to express and cope with strong emotions in appropriate ways — and every child development expert agrees — the earlier the better.

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