Readers’ Responses to “How do you teach your children self-control?”

Shannon illustration 001Lots of pretend play! If they pretend to be someone with self-control (like a mom in a long line at the grocery store)….they are practicing having self-control!

– Shannon B. Wanless, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Program of Applied Developmental Psychology, Department of Psychology in Education, School of Education, University of Pittsburgh

Heather illustration 001I make my kids save and use their own money whenever they want something that isn’t a “need.” If they don’t think it’s important enough to work and save for, then why should I work and spend MY money? I get a kick out of my kids saying they can wait till Christmas when it’s only August.

To combat eating junk food, I’ll tell them to have a healthier choice first. This helps take the focus from junk food just because we are feeling hungry.
– Heather, The Helpful Counselor

Kimberly illustration 001


– Kimberly Allison, Co-Owner, Table 365



Even beforeJeanne Illustration 001 I knew about it (back when our kids were in preschool) a very intuitive pediatrician spoke at our Montessori school and made a point of making your kids wait, deliberately. It seemed so counter-intuitive to me then, but I came to understand it and use it. She said NOT to immediately grant our kids’ requests but to say, “I’ll get it for you in a moment.” Then to pause, finish what we are doing, and provide the requested item or help. If kids are confident that you will get them what they need (have trust in the parent), they can wait. That was one of my first parenting lessons and it sunk in.

 I recently wrote a webpage for the school district I am working for and it was posted last week. See our SEL@Home. It includes this message about waiting!

– Jeanne Osgood, Consultant, Community Consolidated School District 181, Hinsdale, IL

2 Comments on “Readers’ Responses to “How do you teach your children self-control?””

  1. Clever illustrations. Good ideas. Love, Maaa On Jan 23, 2013, at 5:12 PM, confident parents confident kids wrote:


  2. I love Jeanne’s point. Teaching kids how to have self-control is only half of the story. Letting them have frustrating experiences (piano lessons are good for this) is the other half. They need to practice their new self-control strategies. I can imagine, though, that it takes some insight to make sure that you are letting your children have experiences that are frustrating enough, but not too frustrating.

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