Nine Steps towards Teaching your Child Self-Discipline

Instilling in your child self-discipline is something that should be considered after infancy when the initial joy and pleasure of having your baby bond with you is one its first experiences. However, this blissful state of being comes to an end sooner or later, depending on the rate of development of each individual baby.   

While it is natural for your child to feel attachment to you for more than a decade after it is born, you should teach your child that there are some tasks that need completing by herself when she has developed a sense of basic reasoning. It is important to introduce the concept of focussing on tasks and getting them done without constant reminding by yourselves as parents, such as spending a set time period working on homework as a priority before playtime. So here are nine ways that you can help teach your child develop these skills early on.

1. Consistency is Key

Setting firm foundations and making sure that you stick to those foundations is key. After all, you could have the most attentive and well-behaved child, but if you are teaching her inconsistent habits it won’t make a difference to her self-discipline. This can start small with things such as 

  • Teaching that toys not being played with need putting away
  • Personal hygiene such as hand washing 

However, once you set this boundary or habit, you must stick to it and maintain your position, no matter how many times you have to remind your child.

2. Rewards and Consequence

One of the primary ways that a young child learns is through action and consequence. If a child knows that if she does well and follows all of her after-school instructions that have been set, she will receive praise and possibly a reward from you and/or the school. Consequently she is more likely to be motivated to do it. However, if she is made aware that there are consequences for any wrong doing, such as others who may be inconvenienced or hurt as a result, she will learn to avoid making these actions in future. 

3. Routine

An organised routine is helpful in providing a structure so that your child has a reasonable expectation of how her day should turn out. This should make her more settled and thus more conducive to adopt a disciplined approach to life and learning. 

4. Always Use Positive Learning

The concept of mistakes in the course of learning and decision making should be promoted as a necessary and acceptable part in life, without any fear of being reprimanded or punished.  Your child should be made aware that there is no shame in making mistake and hence she would not attempt to hide it. Furthermore, it should then make her more receptive to accept guidance positively.

5. Set Clear and Simple Rules

Your child is probably already aware by the age for 3 or 4 years that she has certain rules to follow either at school or in the home. However, the exact rules that she needs to follow and how to follow them can be slightly harder to grasp without assistance. Therefore, when teaching your child to learn corrections it is vital that you also clearly lay out your rules and boundaries for how she is to behave in the home and at school. Through repetitive and positive encouragement, she will start to follow these rules on her own. 

6. Set Fun and Educational Activities

Teaching your child how to play a song on her xylophone or riding a bike for the first time is a gratifying feeling. Using that sense of accomplishment can help you encourage her to extend this interest to other activities both at home and school. Bike riding could entice her towards other sporting activities, or that learning to play the xylophone could inspire her to perform in the school play.

7. Frameworks

Most of the time, a child needs to learn through more than just exposure to the correct way of doing things. In order to learn things efficiently and effectively, she needs a proper structure to learning that incorporates both the need for refining her skills and practise them at the same time. Setting up a proper learning process can really speed up the time it takes for your child to absorb and repeat good habits and lessons that she has learned. This means she will then be able to apply that knowledge in the outside world even sooner.

8. Lead By Example

Your behaviour will also have an impact on how your child behaves and you too should try to adopt the same rules as you are instilling on your child. This will help motivate her as all children attempt to emulate their parents’ behaviour and having them emulate positive behaviour that you exhibit will help confirm what you tell them about how people are expected to behave.

9. Teach Them That Setbacks and Failure are Normal

Every adult knows that you must fail occasionally to be pointed in the right direction, and this is a vital lesson for children. This will help deter them from becoming discouraged at their initial failures and inspire them to do better next time

We hope that you have found this article helpful; we here at Kidz Village believe that teaching children to be free, disciplined and inquisitive learners early on is key to their academic and personal success later in life. Our widely acclaimed International School in Bangkok strives to provide the best environment to our students. For more information please call +66-2-888-3337 and we would be very pleased to offer any assistance that you may require.