How can we develop self-discipline in children?

Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want most. – Abraham Lincoln.

· Parenting Tips,self-discipline,children,students,Learning
Importance of self-discipline in children

Key points from the article - 

  • Routine
  • Explaining the reason behind rules and regulations
  • Actions and their consequences
  • Problem Solving Skills
  • Role Model

The word “Discipline” is often considered to be a negative word, however raising a child is a difficult task, one that’s lined up with tons of responsibilities and actions. As parents it is upon us on how the world perceives your child and most importantly how he/ she decides to ultimately live their lives in the outside world. Children of today will become the adults of tomorrow and to function in a society, one must have discipline. Here are some ways you can help your child instill discipline in his/her life:

    • Explaining the reason behind rules and regulations-

    Children are smarter than we think. What parents must understand is that even though their child is still young right now and does not understand the way of the world, they know when something’s not right. Explain to them why you need to follow a certain rule instead of just asking them to follow it blindly. For example: If you want your child to finish his/her homework before going off to play with their friends, explain to them why. This way instead of just blindly following rules and regulations, he/she understands the reasoning behind your actions. You don’t want to launch lengthy explanations or lectures that will bore your child. But a quick explanation about why you think certain choices are important can help your child understand choices better.

    • Routine- 

    Having a routine/ working on a fixed schedule is very important for children to learn self-discipline. As parents you can create a chart for your child describing his/her schedule for the way. This could include their school details such as an allocated time for homework, an allocated time for watching television, etc. When a child knows what they’re supposed to be doing, they’re less likely to stray from their activities and focus on the task at hand. At Shivineri boarding school children have a strict schedule that they must adhere to. School Aayas are also responsible for their day – to - day schedule. We have designed an intricate schedule for our students. With a wake up schedule along with a night time schedule, their days are filled with learning and extra-curricular activities. Take a look at our day-to-day schedule for our students and then decide what works and what doesn’t work for your child.

      Daily Schedule

      • Get up                                                                                       -5.30am
      • Get Ready                                                                                 -5.30-6.00am
      • Yoga, Exercise, Morning PT                                                    -6.00-7.00am
      • Bathing & getting ready for School                                       -7.00-8.00am
      • Breakfast                                                                                 -8.00-8.30am
      • Assembly                                                                                -8.30am-09.00pm
      • School Lectures                                                                      - 09.00am-12.30pm
      • Lunch                                                                                     -12.30pm-1.10pm
      • School Lectures                                                                   -1.10pm-3.30pm
      • Wash and Snacks                                                                  -3.30pm-5.00pm
      • Games and Activities                                                          -5.00pm-6.00pm
      • Reinforcement Classes                                                         -6.00pm-7.30pm
      • Dinner                                                                                 -7.30pm-8.10pm
      • Extra Classes for IX-XII / HW Time                                  -8.10pm-9.10pm
      • Internet/ TV/ Phone call / Medicines                            -9.10-9.30pm
      • Attendance                                                                          -9.30pm-9.45pm
      • Brush & Lights Off                                                             -09.45PM-10.00PM
      • Actions and their consequences-

      Every action has consequences. For instilling discipline in children they must understand the impact their actions can create in their life as well as for others. For example: If your child always forgets to carry extra clothes after tennis practice. You may go to your child’s school a few times for what they need. However this will not teach them the importance of being responsible and discipline. Instead, don’t give go running behind your child for his/her belongings. They say that natural consequences can teach life’s greatest lessons.

      Practicing in their school uniform might help them remember to get carry his/her coat next time. There are logical consequences to your actions as well.

      For example if your child refuses to adhere to the norms of the household such as screen time then sit down with them and tell them why it’s important to have a screen time schedule. Explain to them the negative consequences of their habits. Trying to force your child to do something won't teach them self-discipline instead it will only create resentment.

      Keep in mind, your child needs to learn how make healthy decisions on their own term, the consequences of those actions. Along with this, your child must always know that no matter what happens with them, even if they make a mistake, their parents are always around to help them out.

      • Problem Solving Skills-

      As much as we want to believe that we will always be around our children to protect them when they need us, it’s not possible. If your child is away in a boarding school such as Shivneri boarding school then they will have to stay away from their parents while in school. They won’t be able to run to you every time there’s a consequence, irrespective of the type of school they may go to. In such situations, they should learn to take care of minor things their own way. For example: If a child who struggles to get dressed in time for school may benefit from having his/her outfit picked out the night before. Setting a timer for five minutes might also keep her on task. More complex problems may require a series of trial and error type interventions. Keep trying different solutions until you can find something that works while keeping him involved in the process.

      Child solving a puzzle.
      • Role Model-

      Children learn best from watching adults. Practicing what you preach is important when it comes to your children learning disciple from their parents/guardians. If your child sees your procrastinating your work then your child will also do and learn the same way. Whether it be work or play, your child will learn the importance of consistency and discipline if you do it first.

      Parents aren’t perfect either. Learning is a continuous problem, if you are struggling to find the time for something, then tell your kids that. Let your guard down and tell your children that you have problems too and you are working on them every day. When children see their parents/guardians also doing something religiously, kids are likely do it on their own.

      Father and son.

      These are some ways and methods parents can use to teach their children the importance of a schedule, the importance of a routine and ways to add discipline and structure in their own personal lives.