3 Effective Lessons in Self-Control

It’s an inevitable fact of childhood that kids will act out and lose control in the classroom. There are several ways to prevent outbursts before they happen and teach your classroom how to control themselves.

Why Do Children Lose Control?

Children generally lose control because their executive functioning skills like problem solving and planning aren’t fully developed. They’re becoming more independent and recognizing that they have more control over what they can do. As such, they’re more likely to act out when something doesn’t go the way they want. As a teacher, you must learn how to teach your students self-control so they can better focus inside and outside of the classroom.

Play Games That Promote Self Control

The best way for children to learn is through games, both physical and mental. To teach your class self-control, play games that follow very specific rules. For example, “Red Light, Green Light.” This game teaches children to follow directions and resist the urge to run when they aren’t supposed to.

Another game you can play is “Think or Say.” Here, you pose questions to your students like “Someone accidentally knocks over the block tower you just built. Do you get angry and yell, or do you calmly pick up the blocks and start over?” When the class answers, have them explain why they shouldn’t get angry and remain calm. That way, they learn to think about their actions before they act out.

Introduce Music

Music is a good way to teach children self-control in the classroom. Play a drum and have your class perform a specific action when the tempo speeds up or slows down. By following specific instructions and the music’s rhythm, children learn how to follow along and understand queues before acting. Include a system where children who go when they aren’t supposed to have to sit down until the next round. That way, they learn about consequences as well.

Be a Role Model

If you don’t show self-control in the classroom, your students will be more likely to see losing control as acceptable behavior. If something happens in your class, like your students aren’t following your instructions, don’t lose your temper. Exercise self-control and respond in a calm manner. When your students see that you respond to unfavorable situations calmly, they’re more likely to follow suit.

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