Reading to your child for a few minutes every day is extremely beneficial for their brain development, language skills, social skills, and to teach self-control! 

Books can become useful tools that help your child identify and make sense of feelings, and they help parents teach children how to deal with difficult emotions and situations. Many times, books simply offer an easy and productive way to teach children about things like friendship, diversity, and self-control –a fundamental ability.

What is self-control?

It is well known that this skill is very important for a child to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally. Self-control is the ability to stop and think before acting –maintaining composure in challenging situations. It helps to manage emotions, focus attention, and inhibit impulses. Therefore, to have self-control you must be aware of your thoughts and emotions. 

For parents, teaching self-control becomes a priority and it is an ability that requires practice to be learned. However, you should keep in mind that babies’ and toddlers’ prefrontal cortex (the part of the brain associated with self-regulation and control) is not fully developed; although this part of the brain begins to mature in infancy, it is developed and refined in adolescence and young adulthood.

Therefore, it is not reasonable to expect a kid to have self-control as an adult does. If your child is very young, they will have trouble effectively controlling emotions, thoughts, and actions –and that’s completely normal! That’s why you need to establish limits according to their developmental stage.

Teach self-control through books!

Books can be a great way to talk to your little one about self-control! They will learn through the different characters and situations in the stories, and talking about it afterward can help them compare and relate them to real life. Have you been introduced to Leslie Patricelli’s books? They are a must! They’re very fun, light, and great for learning about self-control! Look out for these:

No no, Yes yes

Screen shot 2014-11-11 at 2.21.23 PMThis wonderful book goes through different situations and serves as a “what to do and what not to do” guide. A comical baby will learn about typical behaviors –and their expected responses! Your toddler will love putting these examples into practice!

Quiet LOUD

Screen shot 2014-11-11 at 2.21.47 PMAnother great work from Patricelli. This book will help you teach your toddler about the situations that require a soft voice and the ones in which a loud voice is allowed! Most of the time, it’s in this area where toddlers need to learn to practice self-control!

It’s important to remember that as a parent, you serve as a model to your children, so act accordingly! So, practice and teach self-control yourself!