Does your child get annoyed easily? Do you see signs of quick anger and frustration in your kid? Do you feel that your child lacks emotions? Does your child resist distractions? Is your child expressive or socially active?
If yes, your child is certainly affected by self-control issues!!
While self-control can be defined in several ways – self-discipline, willpower, etc., it is about being able to regulate oneself. It is a child’s ability to stop, and think before acting. Simply put, lack of self-control is the inability of a child to control his/her emotions.
So, what makes self-controlling issues play out in kids?
Reasons of Self-Control Issues in Children
There can be several reasons – biological, emotional as well as mental.
Many experts consider self-control issues as a combination of learned behavior and temperament. They believe that the innate potential of a child depends greatly on his/her personality and attitude. For instance, some kids face difficulty in self-soothing. Such kids get easily upset when parents try to feed or teach them.
On the contrary, some experts see the environment as a crucial factor. For instance, a child whose parents always make extra efforts to soothe him/her during tough times has a hard time developing self-control. Such kids rely on their parents to regulate or control their emotions, actions and even their entire life. Having such pattern around for long develops a habit in the children to outsource self-control.
Lastly, children with ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) may find it challenging to regulate their emotions, and need additional help to develop self-control skills.
Effects of Self-Control Issues in Children
The effects of self-control issues in children may vary according to their age. In kids (aged between 3-7years), self-regulating issues can lead to slower brain development and learning, and poor health results in the long run.
In young children, a lack of self-regulation can cause hindrance in their academic performances and mental growth. Moreover, they are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, and aggression.
On emotional and social levels, self-control issues can make it difficult for children, irrespective of their age, to fit in, make friends, and socialize.
Later in life, such children fall prey to drugs, alcohol, and gambling. Also, over-aggression and frustration can lead them to suicide, sometimes.
Ways to Foster Self Control in Children
Fostering or improving self-control in kids is beneficial to their current functioning as well as for the many long-term developmental outcomes that are related to self-regulation.
So, what can be done?
Acting Out – Ignorance and resistance are essentially ineffective when it comes to handling difficult or uncomfortable situations. Whether you are a parent or a teacher, you must help the child slow down and choose effective responses more carefully instead of being impulsive. Self-control skill should be considered in the same way as the other skills. When you think of it as a skill, it changes the content and tone of the response you give to your child.
Online Self-Control Support – Thanks to digitization that has changed the face of the world, even learning and development. Now, you do not need to step out of your home to attend classes. Just set-up an internet connection and register to online programs like the Porter Diagnostic Learning Assessment by Vanya. This online tutoring program helps in assessing your child’s learning strengths and weaknesses and accordingly gives solutions in the form of half-hour counseling session.
Parenting Programs – Parents can be the best guide or mentor for their kids. To help parents learn ways to support their kids in developing self-regulation skills, parent training programs like the Porter learning program can be significant. Such programs help parents learn strategies to handle difficult strategies, and how to promote a safe, engaging and positive environment at home, etc. through webinars and Facebook live sessions on a regular basis. Parents can sign up for the newsletters and follow Vnaya on social media to stay connected with the free programs by Dr. Porter.
These parenting programs can aid parents to understand their child’s behavior and needs and make them learn how to handle impulses and act accordingly. Also, by demonstrating self-control in their life, parents can teach their kids to do the same in theirs.
The Final Say
Self-control is mandatory for every child to succeed academically, socially, and emotionally. Early diversity often leads to self-control issues among the children. However, specialized parenting programs and pre-school curricula can help promote the development of self-control among them.