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3 Steps to Teaching Your Child Self Control

Self control is the ability to say “no” when you want to say “yes“!

In 1972 Walter Mischel conducted one of the classic psychology experiments of all time. Children were shown into a laboratory and given a plate with a marshmallow on it. They were told they could eat it now, or if they waited a few minutes until he returned they could have two!

The experimenters found that some children had more self-control than others, and subsequent research has shown that self-control matters.

Compared with people who have low self-control, people with high self-control live longer, have fewer psychiatric issues, are healthier, and are less likely to smoke, drink, use drugs, drive drunk, and commit crimes!

So how do we teach self-control to our kids?

First, model it.

Second, give kids responsibilities.

Third, let your kids make decisions for themselves, and talk through those decisions with them.

Find out more about raising positive kids at

what your child needs from you
A practical manual for creating a connected family, What Your Child Needs From You delivers concrete strategies to help parents build meaningful relationships with their children.