two children standing near concrete fence

Self-Control and Restraint

In line with our school value of the month, we will be examining the importance of teaching children self-control and restraint. Developing these necessary skills helps prevent poor habits that may lead to serious consequences in their present and future lives. 

Likewise, the ability to regulate impulses in a healthy manner results in stable and content living, consistent with our Islamic culture and way of life at New Horizon School Westside. 

About Self-Control in Children

Self-control is partially dependent on a child’s age. Toddlers are still learning to develop this skill and can struggle to regulate their emotions and actions. Older children who are consistently taught Islamic values are better at demonstrating self-discipline. The most remarkable changes take place between three and seven years old, which is why at New Horizon School Westside, we prioritize teaching this important value, beginning as early as preschool.

If individuals are unable to develop this value, they may be more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and behavioral issues. Children with low levels of self-control may also be more at risk of developing substance dependencies, being involved in crime, or developing poor health issues such as obesity. 

How We Can Teach Children to Develop Self-Control

Parents and teachers play a significant role in the development of self-control in children. The following are just a few ways in which we can help establish this value in children.

1. Create Circumstances Where Self-Control is Rewarded Consistently 

Establishing systems that reward self-control and restraint can help children understand that by exercising self-discipline today, they can experience something even better tomorrow. 

The key idea here is “consistency.” If teachers or parents promise children rewards that are not delivered, then children may lose their trust in the system and revert to options that give them immediate gratification.

2. Provide Support by Supplying Reminders

At our private school, ranging from preschool to elementary school, it is important to help children along in their journey to developing self-control. This means frequently reminding them during tasks that if they achieve a certain outcome, their reward is waiting. 

If the reward is something tangible, teachers or parents can place it where the child can see it until the exercise is complete. You can also play games that teach and reward self-control, reminding them of what they can win if they do well. 

3. Help Children Establish the Right Mindset

Qualities like intelligence and success are not just intrinsic, they take effort. Children with this positive mindset will be more resilient in the face of scholastic and life challenges. We should also encourage them to find enjoyment and satisfaction in the tasks themselves, not just the rewards. 

4. Allow for Downtime

As teachers and parents of Islamic faith, we need to remember to set aside time for children to simply be children. Not every moment has to be a teaching moment.

Children who are under too much pressure to achieve their best and behave their best are likely to burn out and act out in opposite ways. Be sure to make time for fun and other low-pressure recreational activities to create a balance in your child’s life.

Some Closing Thoughts

Establishing healthy levels of self-control and restraint is essential for our private preschool and elementary school children at New Horizon School Westside. These values form a cornerstone for the well-being and success of our future American Muslim communities.