What is self-discipline? Self-discipline has been defined as the ability to make yourself do what you know you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like or not! A disciplined person knows what has to be done and does it. They don’t put it off until latter or allow themselves to be easily taken off track. And, most importantly they prioritize and focus on being self-disciplined with activities that move them toward their goals. There’s a big difference between having self-discipline with tasks that don’t move you toward your goals and doing very well what need not be done at all. It’s usually the more challenging activities and tasks that will help you reach your goals than those of less importance. This concept is easily confused so be careful which activities you exercise your self-discipline with.
When teaching children self-discipline it is important to have fun and keep in mind that the idea is to establish routines that are followed for the entire week without deviation or distraction. We want our children to pick up after themselves, to clean their rooms without being told, to study and do their homework on their own, and to be responsible for their extra curricular programs as well. We demand a whole lot from them!
Explain to them that there are two kinds of discipline; Parent discipline- We constantly tell them what they need to do! And Self-discipline- They take care of certain things without reminders from us! Sometime just understanding this simple concept can point them in the right direction!
List all of their responsibilities that have to do with, school, home, extra curricular, and leisure time. Have a discussion about all their responsibilities in those areas. Then, with there input, teach them how to prioritize. In other words make sure they know that homework and studying are more important than chores. Remember the self-disciplined person does the more important goal-oriented activity first.
When your child understands what’s important by the goals you have set, it will be easy to establish a comfortable routine for everyone to follow. Your routine should include all the activities on your list. The more regimented you child becomes and the more you and him/her plan time for every responsibility in order of importance the more discipline he/she will have. Just remember to stick to a fun routine so it becomes habit and therefore causes your child to want to be self-disciplined.
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