Are you finding that your six-year-old daughter/son still has many temper tantrums and episodes when she/he loses control? Think she/he should be “over it” by now? Is she/he very compliant and quick to calm down and respond to your guidance? Can you easily help her solve problems and manage the crisis, when you’re there? But the problem is, when you are not around, she/he can-not control her own behavior? You know you will not be able to hover over her/him every waking moment. What can you do?
Helping Your Child with Self-Control
Much of parenting is about connecting with your child and guiding your child’s behavior. You must intervene to stop or redirect your child when her/his behavior is inappropriate or unsafe, much as a police officer would. Children without self-control may behave appropriately in your presence but continue to act out or sneak things when you are not there. Of course, you cannot always be there; eventually your child needs to make independent choices and control her own behavior. This is the goal of self-control, to internalize rules and standards of behavior.
There are many skills for your child to master to learn self-control. In many cases, you can provide experiences of direct instruction to promote self-control. You do not have to wait for opportunities to occur naturally.