Through self-discipline comes freedom – Aristotle.Several studies have shown that social and emotional development underpin children’s academic learning, growth, and success. Discipline is one such character strength that determines the future success of a person. People who are disciplined bring order and plan because of their ability to create systematic ways to get things done. People with the strength of discipline can get a lot accomplished. Discipline brings stability and structure into a person’s life. It teaches a person to be responsible and respectful. Discipline helps to train a person’s mind and character, building a sense of self-control and the practice of obedience. When children learn discipline, we are teaching them a form of freedom. Freedom from laziness and lethargy. Self-discipline is a skill that can be taught to children. Self-disciplined children can fight their self-doubt, their temptation and learn to focus on long term rewards instead of short-term comfort or gain. Discipline, just like other character strengths, must be cultivated. How do we help our children to become more disciplined? When parents follow self-discipline, children will learn to do the same. Modelling is the easiest way of teaching discipline to children. If children, see us procrastinating or choosing to watch TV instead of finishing our work they will pick up the same habits. Having a structured routine to the day helps children to know their time limits. A consistent bedtime, waking up time and mealtimes are the primary discipline of routine that can be taught to children from a young age. It helps children know what they are supposed to be doing and are less likely to get derailed by other activities. A good routine should also spell out time for homework, chores, and play. Keep the routine simple, and with practice, children will learn to implement it without your assistance. Have rules and guidelines that should be followed at home and explain the reason behind those rules so that children understand rules serve a purpose. Give consequences, and sometimes natural consequences can teach life’s greatest lessons. But losing some privileges can also be the consequences that help children become more self-disciplined. However, this should not be a source of stress in our relationships, but rather consequences should facilitate positive behavior and should be done from a place of respect and love. To teach discipline is the hardest and is a process that takes a long time to learn. Use age-appropriate discipline strategies and take only one step at a time. Praise good behavior. Sometimes good behavior goes unnoticed, catch children doing good, e.g., sticking to their routines and let them know you notice it. This will boost their confidence, and they are more likely to repeat the same again.
The future depends on what we do in the present”- Mahatma Gandhi.