Categorized | Parenting, Toddler Discipline

Teaching Self-control In Children

Teaching self-control to children is very important for the development of skills they will need as they grow up, particularly when they start going to school. Here is a simple how-to guide that will help your toddler learn self-control.

Set Rules

Create simple rules which your toddler can understand clearly. Let him know that talking is the only method of communication and that biting, hitting, shouting and throwing tantrums will not be tolerated.

Explain The Consequences

Talk to your little one about the consequences of a bad behaviour. Keep your instructions brief and clear. He has to know what will happen if he loses control as this will help him learn how to manage his emotions.

Consequences can be as simple as giving him a household chore, time-out to withholding privileges (e.g. no TV for a day). As much as possible, do not spank or reprimand him. Physical and emotional violence will only make your toddler feel bad and worsen the behaviour.


What pushes your toddler’s buttons? What is his daily routine? How is he around people? How does he play with other children? How does he react under pressure? What actions annoy him? By observing your toddler, you will be able to identify the triggers.


Once you know what sets him off, you can better empathize with his feelings. For instance, if your little one is upset because his playmate pushed him, let him know that you understand how sad, frustrated and angry he is. Encourage him to talk to you. Once he is done talking, give him a bear hug or rub his back to calm him down. Then, help him figure out what to do. This will make him identify his feelings, making it easier for you to train him to control himself.

Make Room For Mistakes

Often times, parents tend to make decisions for their children because they do not want them to stumble. But, children need to be independent. Allow your toddler to act on his own, face the consequences, be it positive or negative and learn from his mistakes. Just let things happen and stay on the byline so you can still guide him. By doing so, your toddler will learn to be confident yet careful with his actions.

Provide An Outlet

Help your toddler find a positive way he can redirect his negative feelings. He can draw, paint or play sports. Teach him calming techniques such as counting from 1 to 10 or taking deep breaths. This will help your little one in assessing the situation as well develop self-control.

Be A Role Model

Children learn by example. They imitate what they see their parents do. Rather than screaming because you accidentally spilled milk on the freshly vacuumed carpet, say “I am annoyed right now. I think I am just going to close my eyes and count to ten before I clean this up.”. By being calm and cautious of your words and actions, you show to your child that it is possible to control and recover from a stressful circumstance.

Although this is a challenging task, but if you are able to communicate well with your toddler, understand his needs and teach him how to handle difficult events maturely, teaching self-control will be very easy.

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