August 29 2017
You want your children to be self-disciplined; you will need to make sure that you are setting some appropriate limits for your children. But, the even more critical thing to take into consideration is the empathy. You need to show empathy while setting those limits. Why? Let’s discuss.
When we talk about self-discipline, it is more about controlling our impulses to do what needs to be done. It also means that we are basically ready to sacrifice what we want in order to strive for what we must get.
Therefore, when a child goes for your instructions rather than following his instincts and desires, he basically controls his impulses. This process strengthens the child’s ability to practice self-discipline. This phenomenon is just like muscles which get stronger when you use them.
This is the reason that setting limits is absolutely important. Some people may argue in the favor of permissive parenting but it’s also the fact that if children are not given the instructions, they are not going to practice self-discipline.
However, parents need to make sure that the limits are being set with empathy as the constant factor in the process. Some people consider setting limit as a process of warning the children for consequences. This kid of limit-setting process doesn’t result in enhancement of children’s ability to practice self-discipline. As a matter of fact, it weakens the ability. The reason is that this harsh process makes the child dependent on the outside factors to control his/her impulses.
It can be resembled with an example where a child wants to make a jump shot. After trying for several times, the child may want to sit down and relax but he continues to make attempts in order to make a goal. This is what we can call sacrificing short term desires to achieve the bigger goals. If the child is given instruction by parent or the coach to complete that shot no matter what, he may keep doing it but he may also lose interest in continuing. Self-disciplining works the same way.
This is the reason that setting limits with empathy is the ultimate requirement you must fulfill if you want your child to choose what’s necessary. Maintaining connection with you is going to be the main goal that your child would want to fulfill. Showing empathy would give your child the display how good it would be for him to have your support in the future.
So, when you show empathy and build a connection with the kid before setting limits, the child starts to look at the bigger goal, which is to maintain that connection with you. At the same time, you assure the kid about your support whenever he struggles to work on the self-disciplining. It would help the kid to keep the main goal in his sight and he will be ready to do anything to retain the connection.
Remember, there will be the errors which your child would commit because he/she is a human. But don’t we all make mistakes at every stage of our lives? This is what you need to keep in mind when you see your child getting off the course. Show empathy and try to bring the kid back to the course.