How Are Your Child’s Management Skills?
Joey and Carla Link
June 5, 2019
Do you have a child who tells his/her siblings when to get their stuff picked up, to get their homework done before computer game time and get their things ready for soccer practice yet have none of these things done herself? Ah, the know-it-all yet never getting around to doing-it-all. Children can learn to manage their time and activities by the time they get to their teen years.Children can’t learn to manage themselves unless they are characterized by having a high standard of self-control.
To help parents with this we wrote a Mom’s Notes presentation titled, “Kids, Get Self-Control!” which is available in our bookstore Parenting Made Practical.
Grade Some Areas of Your Child’s self-Managerial Control
Try grading each of your children on how well they manage or control themselves in the below areas. How well do they have control of:
- Their hands and touching other kids or things, especially those that are off-limits?
- Their mouth and what comes out of it? Is this child kind when he talks to his siblings and his friends? Is he respectful when he talks to you? If you have a child with the Sanguinetemperament, does he/she have the ability to know when to stop talking and what are appropriate times to talk and when to be quiet?
- Their eyes? Does this child look at other things when you are talking to him/her? If you take your kids to a restaurant where there is a TV on with something you think is inappropriate to look at, does he have the self-discipline to not look at it?
- Is your child careful about what he hears? If people are using bad language, telling foul stories or just gossiping about others, do they have the self-discipline to not listen or walk away? Or will he start picking up the language and repeating the gossip he/she heard?
- Is he/she responsible? Does he get his chores done on time every day without reminders from you? His schoolwork?
Recently we went to dinner at a home-style pizzeria with a young family who had an 8 year old boy. While we waited for the pizzas to cook, there was a TV screen showing a movie the parents did not want their child to look at and told him he didn’t have the freedom to watch it. It wasn’t in his direct line of sight, but he kept looking at it even though his parents were working diligently reminding him to stop looking at the TV.
Now most parents would simply move the child so he could not see the TV and this would definitely be appropriate for young children, but this wise mother was working with her son to help him learn to have self-control over his eyes, a skill that will help him as a teen when he will be encouraged by his peers to look at girls and what he can access on the internet.
Summer time is a great opportunity to evaluate your kids and to work with them on gaining skill and maturity in self-control, the ability to manage themselves in the above areas. If you feel your kids are lacking self-control, set goals with your spouse to train them in it as it is the foundation along with obedience in all future character training efforts.
Questions for Parents to Think Through:
- What areas do each of your kids need to develop management of their own behavior in?
- What areas do they need additional training from you in?
- What areas do you need to start thinking of transferring ownership to your kids in? This means they will get no more reminders or warnings from you, but will still get consequences when things aren’t done on time and praise when they are.
Summer time is a great training opportunity as kids have fewer responsibilities with no school or homework. If you don’t have a plan to accomplish this however, the weeks will slip by and before you know it school will be starting again. You and your spouse should take time to evaluate each of your children and decide on 1-2 areas they need training in if they have a high level of self-control and obedience. If they don’t, then start there. Set small goals that are do-able.
Some of you might be thinking you want to have fun with your kids this summer, not work on your kid’s behaviors. Believe it or not, when you are actively working on their character, they step it up in other ways as well and you will not only have fun with them, you will have more funthan if you let the summer days slip by.