Self-Control is when my Mind controls my Body and my Emotions. It’s a skill that takes practice, and it starts with being aware that we can control ourselves!
One way to practice Self-Control is by being aware and accountable to what we say. The Seven Magic Phrases are a great way to help kids start to catch themselves in little ways - and if you model these phrases TO your children, it’s easier to get them FROM your children. If they never hear you say “Yes Sir”’ or “Yes Ma’am” - does it make sense that those words will sound strange to them? However, if you say it, if you model it for them, it’s easier for them to follow your example. I’ve been using Ma’am with my daughter since she showed up 14 weeks early!
Four Ways of Leaders and Followers
I once had a student who was speech–delayed and at 4 only knew 17 words. I started working with him when he was 6 years old, for about 6 months.
When I first met his father, Dad was very proud of his son, but I got the impression that there was something bothering Dad. He was proud but also frustrated.
Suspecting what was bothering Dad, I explained the Four Ways of Leaders and Followers.
Here’s the whole story!
Every act of Self–Discipline – either doing what you are supposed to do without anyone else telling you to do it, or stopping yourself from doing something you know you’re not supposed to do (without anyone else stopping you) – it gets written down. For every ten (10) acts of Self–Discipline, you get some form of reward. In my school, it’s attitude stripes for your belt. Now, stickers might not be the most motivating for you (but then again, if you haven’t tried it, you don’t know, do you?), but the idea is that you want to have a way to reward yourself for small victories as you make progress towards larger goals.
The Weekly Job List is pretty straight forward, designed for younger people. There are four sections: Clean Room, Self-Care, School, and Family, each with a list of fundamental areas of responsibility. There’s also space for a weekly goal, which can be useful when company is coming to visit on the weekend, or the house needs to be cleaned before a vacation, or a special project needs to get completed for school. Again, as each week’s chores are completed, some form of reward should be given – extra opportunities like visiting with friends, having a special pizza party (maybe a whole month of chores need to be completed to earn something like that), going to the movies, earning a weekly allowance… the opportunities are endless – coming up with meaningful rewards can be a great game in and of itself, a wonderful way to engage your child’s sense of responsibility and feeling of control in the outcomes of his/her life.
Simply record your income at the top, place in your outgo, and subtract the outgo from the income. The goal is to be at zero because #9 is what you put into investments each month (which should be at least about 10% of your income). I have a whole module on financial mastery we can go into in the Parent Coaching Program, which gets into this topic more deeply. But make sure you pay yourself first!