Is Your Kid Struggling With Self-Control? These 4 Activities Can Help

Whether it’s an argument between siblings, an angry outburst before bedtime or crying about not getting their way, all children struggle with self-control at some point.

Simply put, self-control is the ability to control the emotions and desires that affect our behavior, and the lessons children learn in the first five years about controlling themselves have a long-lasting impact. Right now, it might be difficult to imagine your baby commanding attention in the boardroom one day. But, executive function skills like self-control, working memory and adaptability play a large role in our children’s future success and greatly impact the development of skills like teamwork, critical thinking and problem solving.

Kids dancing in sync to a song while practicing self-controlSimple activities today will help your child better achieve big dreams in the future. Work on this skill at home with the following simple activities:

  • Make a meal: Follow the steps of a recipe, measure out the ingredients, set the timer and check the dish’s progress. Try a few of these kid-friendly recipes!
  • Play board games: Choose who goes first, take turns and follow the game’s instructions.
  • Build an obstacle course: Create a structured course and designate a route that your child should follow through the course.
  • Play freeze dance: Dance to music with your child and freeze when the music stops. (For older children, ask them to freeze in a specific position.)

These activities will test and strengthen your child’s ability to focus on tasks, manage behavior and practice patience by learning to follow rules or directions.

Learn more about other executive function skills and how you can help prepare your child for the future!

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