Wish Your Kids Had More Discipline

Wish Your Kids Had More Discipline? Try These 7 Tips

Discipline. It’s the foundation of success in every area of life. From classrooms to careers, family relationships to friendships, discipline is the glue that holds things together. It’s the energy source that keeps things going when times are tough.

Here at The Academy of Scholars private school in Atlanta, we believe that students who learn the value of discipline from a young age will be better equipped to succeed at school, in the workplace, and beyond. Think for a moment about the discipline required to learn how to read. For kids, this is often one of the first big milestones that requires plenty of discipline. That’s why we put such an emphasis on instilling this critical value in the minds of our students.

However, if you want to truly develop discipline in children, you need to make it a priority in the home. Students who are encouraged to grow this skill both in school and at home will greatly benefit from the consistency of standards and expectations.

If you feel like your home could use a little (or a lot) more discipline, you’re not alone. And while it can be one of the most challenging lessons to instill, the benefits make it all worthwhile. Here are seven reasons why discipline is critical for your child’s success, and some practical ways that you can nurture this value in your home.

1. Discipline helps kids learn time management skills.

One of the key functions of discipline is the ability to manage one’s time in a responsible manner. Effective time management allows students to prioritize tasks, set and achieve goals, and use their time wisely by looking ahead and weighing their choices.

2. Discipline grows a strong work ethic.

When children learn the value of a “work now, play later” mindset, they’ll develop a strong and trustworthy work ethic. There’s something to be said about the reward following hard work, and the more children experience this, the more determined they’ll be to set their mind to completing their tasks.

3. Discipline builds character.

In and of itself, discipline is a valuable character trait. However, the development of this one trait can yield a host of other valuable characteristics. Children who learn discipline are also responsible, have stronger integrity, and find it easier to exercise self-control.

4. Discipline allows for focused learning.

When children begin to harness the power of discipline, they are better able to block out the distractions around them and focus on the task at hand. Doing so allows for better learning retention, which inevitably leads to consistent growth and achievement in their work.

5. Discipline reduces stress.

We’ve all felt the anxiety that comes with procrastination and the panic that accompanies ever-encroaching deadlines. Discipline allows you to exercise good time management, prioritization, and foresight to complete tasks in a timely and measured way. When work is completed with time to spare, stress levels decrease. When children learn to apply this kind of discipline to all of their responsibilities, they typically experience far less stress and anxiety, leading to better overall mental health.

6. Discipline keeps students physically active.

Anyone who’s ever tried to make a habit of regular exercise knows that doing so requires discipline. However, disciplined children can see the value of putting in the work where physical fitness is concerned, and they aren’t afraid to do so. As they develop this trait, students show a stronger commitment to staying physically active.

7. Discipline grows strong leaders.

Look at anyone who leads well and you’ll find that they all have one crucial trait in common: discipline. A disciplined leader sees the value in hard work, problem-solving, modeling exemplary behavior, and leading with integrity.

How to Develop Discipline at Home

1. Set Expectations

Discuss clear, age-appropriate expectations for disciplined behavior in your home. Be careful not to set the bar so high in the beginning that it seems too lofty to reach. Instead, have regular check-ins to discuss what’s working, what isn’t, and how you can continue to move the bar higher. Children should know what is expected of them based on the guidelines and rules that have been put into place.

2. Lead by Example

Children find it difficult to respect double standards. If you expect discipline from your child, it’s crucial that you lead by example. The best teacher is one who shows, not simply tells.

3. Follow a Routine

Consistency is a critical building block to developing discipline. Try to keep up with a regular routine in the home that includes designated times for chores, homework, family meals, and bedtime.

4. Assign Chores

Many students find themselves at a disadvantage when they try to enter the workplace from a lifetime without chores and responsibilities. Try to assign daily, weekly, and monthly chores that are age-appropriate and incorporate them into your expectations and routine. If you feel that a bit of incentive is needed, that’s okay. Give your children something to work for by establishing that chores must be completed in order to earn a privilege, such as screen time.

5. Set Goals

A critical element of discipline is understanding the importance of setting and working toward personal goals. Discuss goals that you’d like to set with your child, whether it’s reaching an academic milestone, learning a new skill, or completing a lengthy project.

6. Encourage Extracurriculars

Discipline doesn’t mean all work and no play. Encourage your child to pick up and stick with some extracurricular activities, such as sports or music lessons. Talk about the importance of practice and honing their skills. Stress the importance of sticking to it, even when they may not feel like it.

7. Have Kids Help with Household Tasks

Outside of regular chores, children can learn discipline through various household tasks, such as cooking, baking, and gardening. These things do a great job helping children understand the relationship between work and reward.