In today’s modern era a lot has changed and especially in the field of education. No more do we have the typical strict teacher-student relationship nor are children being physically punished as aggressively as were in the past. It must be still happening in far-off villages where there is a great amount of illiteracy and the traditional means of promoting discipline are being applied. However, in modern age schools, there are specific rules and regulations about hitting children physically. On one end this is good because many injuries have taken place when teachers have beaten up children in schools violently. Further such abuse results in lack of confidence amongst these children for the rest of their lives. On the other end children, today are becoming very bold and need some disciplinary lessons to behave within certain limits with their teachers.
Research shows that children who have grown up in a strict environment end up losing their confidence and depend on the voice of authority. On the other extreme when parents exert minimum control, children grow up to be immature individuals. Children who have grown up in a moderate environment were found to be co-operative, responsible and were also intellectually curious.
Let’s first see what is self-control? “Establishing self-control is a process which develops slowly, and the ultimate goal of discipline is to help children build their own self-control, not to have them merely obey adult commands.”
Thus self-control develops slowly and the child can build it himself/herself. Adults cannot force it because children should be taught to control their emotions via steps like rewarding a good student for his/her behavior. Positive reinforcement will encourage him/her to behave in the future also and it sets a good example for his peers.
Research suggests that kids who do not develop effective self-control skills cannot do well academically. They may even feel depressed and suffer from anxiety and aggressive behavior issues. They experience health problems such as obesity and/or dependency on drugs. Some even end up committing crimes.
As a parent, you need to teach self-regulatory skills at home while at school it is the teacher’s duty to nurture these skills. Here are a few tips for parents and teachers to instill self-control amongst children:
- Set clear and concise rules and be firm. For instance, coming late to school is not tolerable unless and until a written application explains a sound reason for doing so.
- When rules are not being followed give a warning. Once the rule is broken the third time on a continuous basis, action must be taken.
- A warning to the parents and punishment for the student should be followed. The warning will become a reference for the future.
- Rewarding good behavior is important. To reinforce the good behavior you should appreciate it. Most importantly you need to become a role model for the student. If a teacher keeps coming late to school, what example is he/she setting for the student?
There are numerous resources online to help you develop different techniques for teaching self-control:
Talking to experienced teachers and parents can be useful. You can record the child’s progress to track changes. Also, encourage students to read about discipline and how it can help them develop their personality.