Can Self Control Be Teach?

Self control is a crucial mental skill that most people desire. It helps us make better decisions and avoid the consequences of poor choices. It can also help us to regulate our emotions and respond appropriately to situations that arise.

The question of whether self control can be taught is a common one among educators, parents, and therapists alike. While some people have innate strengths in this area, it is possible for most to learn and develop it throughout their lives.

Character Strengths that Improve Self-Control

The ability to pause before reacting impulsively and to think more about the long-term consequences of a decision is a great example of self-control. This can be a valuable skill to teach to children and adults.

Another key element of self-control is the ability to defer gratification. Learning the character strengths of savoring and self-regulation can help build this aspect of self-control.

Teaching children to delay gratification can be challenging, but it is an important part of building resilience and self-control into their psyches.

Rewarding children for regulating their emotions and responding appropriately to negative situations will help them build this key skill. By giving children small rewards, such as a few minutes to play outside or a favorite food, they will feel good about themselves and be more likely to resist impulsive behaviors.

Having a consistent routine is a key tool to developing self-control in young children. By establishing boundaries for things like meal time, sleeping, and school work, teachers can help kids know what is expected of them and how to self-regulate.

This is an especially useful skill in kindergarten, where many students are not used to a structured classroom and tend to be distracted by their own activities. Creating a predictable schedule will not only encourage children to regulate their own behavior but can also be an excellent way for teachers to monitor student progress.

A study of the Dunedin Study, a long-term research program that has tracked participants from childhood to adulthood, found that self-control was one of the most reliable predictors of life success in adolescents and adults (Moffitt et al 2010). Low self-control is often associated with substance abuse, poor academic performance, deviant sexual behavior, obesity, and criminal activity.

Some researchers believe that low self-control is caused by a lack of parental supervision during childhood, whereby children are not given the guidance and support needed to develop healthy coping skills. In addition, people who have difficulty controlling their emotions are more likely to give in to impulses and to engage in unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as alcohol or drug use.

While these coping mechanisms may be beneficial in the short term, they can lead to serious health problems and even criminal activity in the long term. Luckily, self-control is not an irreversible trait and can be strengthened in children through patience, consistency, and consistent modeling.

If you have a child who is struggling with self-control, a therapist can provide them with the tools they need to cope with their difficult behaviors. A therapist can also help children to develop a plan that focuses on how to regulate their emotions and respond to situations that are challenging. They can also help them identify their core values and beliefs that are most important to them and that they can use to guide their decisions.