Sharing ideas for helping children learn self-control

Sharing ideas for helping children learn self-control

Every day our teachers are using techniques to help your children learn the important skill of self-control. We thought it would be fun to share some of our classroom techniques with you. We would also love to hear from you about ways you help your child(ren) learn strategies to calm himself/herself down and be responsible for his or her own decision-making. It’s a big topic, and children don’t always respond to the same strategies, but maybe we can give each other some tips that will prove helpful as we all work together to help your child learn the important skill of self-control.

Things we do at EFC…

  • We develop a schedule for the day that provides structure and consistency. Children learn what the expectations are for each time period of the day.
  • We understand the importance of physical activity for young children and provide for active play both indoors and outdoors throughout the day.
  • We get to know each child individually so that we can recognize when he/she is frustrated and provide support and coaching to help the child come up with strategies to calm down.
  • As often as possible, we involve the children in the decision-making for the classroom. They might be asked to work together to come up with classroom “rules”, or to set goals for what they want to explore and learn about during the week. They are often asked what story they would like read to them at group time or which songs they would like to sing.      
  • Children are given opportunities to role play. This gives them experience in working with other children to create their own “stories” and respect the roles of the children with whom they are playing. To stick to their roles and carry out prolonged play with their friends is not just fun – it teaches the children to participate in planning and decision-making with others.      
  • Children learn to listen to other children share their thoughts, and understand that by listening to each other we both give respect and feel respected.  
  • We provide cues for children so they know what to expect. We might ring a bell to signal that clean-up time will start in 5 minutes. We might provide an area of the room where children can go to resolve conflicts with other children. We might provide a visual chart for children to see the sequence for handwashing.
  • We create games where children need to understand the rules and wait their turns.

Now let’s hear from you. What works at home when your child needs some help learning self-control?