Teaching children self discipline – Mar 12

By: Maria Tanudjaja


We are all familiar with the saying ‘Let children be children’. While we don’t want to rob a child of his childhood, it is parent’s responsibility to prepare the child for life. Every child need  to be equipped with skills and self discipline for him to be successful in his adult year.

Robert Brooks, Ph.D., a Harvard Medical School psychologist and child development expert says, “Self-discipline means taking ownership, accountability and responsibility for our behavior. It is one of the most important qualities we can help our kids to develop. Self-discipline will give them the ability to think before they act, improve their relationships with others, enable them to perform better at school and at work and to become good problem solvers.”

 There are  few effective ways for parents to teach children self discipline.

  • Responsibility for simple chores

Parents can give children age-appropriate responsibilities, such as putting away toys; getting dressed and putting away clothes; helping to make their bed and keeping their room tidy, helping to set and clear the table; helping to put away dishes and many more.


  • Develop new talents

Whether it’s  learning a musical instrument or playing sports, developing hobbies based on the child’s ability and talent can be fun, challenging and rewarding.  The many hours of study and practice that the children spend to develop the talent will teach them self discipline They will also learn the valuable lesson of sticking with something through all its ups and downs until it is finished.


  • Exercise patient.

When children get excited about something  they want, they want it right now.  It is crucial for parents to  teach children the value of waiting. When it’s possible, building something with the kids such as a tree house or a playhouse (or any other project that takes time to make) can be really fun. Write down together the progress day-by-day and show the kids that patience and persistence will bring success in in the end.


“Discipline your children while you still have the chance; indulging them destroys them.” (Proverbs 19:18)

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