Spur of the moment.
Unable to focus on a task.
Do any of these describe your child? Self-control is such a hard lesson for kids to acquire. For some children, it comes easy. But for others, they need to some creative ways to learn self-control. Coming up with creative ways to teach self-control will have a more positive effect on your child versus teaching it like homework.
Check out these creative ways below.
Play Green Light, Red Light
You know how this game goes, right? Encourage the whole family to play along. Have everyone start on one end of the room and you say green light and they go. Next, say red light. They stop. Do this for about ten minutes. Now try making it the opposite! This will make them think about the direction first. Green light means stop, red light means go. Make your child think about his decision will help him learn to control his impulse because he can’t go on green, can he? Be sure to specify which way you are playing before you start.
A Solution To Interrupting
Interrupting someone when they are talking is a huge self-control issue for children. There are many ways to help your child understand that when you are talking, not to interrupt. The one I found that works the best is to discuss with your child that if he needs to speak with you while you are talking to someone else, to place his hand on your arm. That way you acknowledge he is there and he needs to speak with you, without him having to interrupt. Unless of course, it’s an emergency! Then let him interrupt. Be sure he knows the definition of an emergency (i.e. someone is hurt).
Encourage Alone Playtime
Each day encourage your child to play by himself for about 30 minutes. During this time, he will be able to use self-control to figure out how to problem solve with his toys and entertain himself. Playing with action figures, Legos, or cars he can come up with different situations where he must choose how the story should go.
Learning To Wait
Children lack a great deal of patience. Some adults do too! How can we help them learn to wait, instead of giving in to impulses? If you are making dinner and your child comes begging for something to eat, will you give in? Try your hardest not to give in and give him a snack. Tell him dinner will be done in just a few minutes and then we can all enjoy a meal together. Letting him help with dinner would be a great way to keep him busy. If he isn’t interested in that he could play with his toys or read a book to pass the time. He may have a meltdown, he may not, but staying consistent is the key.
The Marshmallow Test
This is the one that may be the most difficult, but it sure is a creative way to help your child gain self-control. Explain to your child that you’re going to play a game. He can have a treat now, or he can wait 20 minutes and get two rewards. You can use a marshmallow, pretzel or a piece of candy. Show your child that you are going to sit it on the table and it’s his choice if he wants to have it now or wait. Set a timer so he can see the amount of time left, this will help with him asking how much longer. If he makes it the whole 20 minutes be sure to make a big deal about how awesome it was that he able to use his self-control to not give in.
What creative tools would you add?