31 days of training my kids: practicing self-control

The general idea of practicing self-control, just it's individually. They were so thrilled about posing for this picture. = )
The general idea of practicing self-control, just it’s individually. They were so thrilled about posing for this picture. = )

Here’s a great little trick we learned from Steve and Megan Scheibner of Character Health.

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Put two chairs facing each other. The child sits in one and the parent sits in the other. Use a timer (I use my phone) and set the timer for one minute.

Each person must sit there with their hands folded and their mouth closed until the alarm goes off.

Seem simple?

It is!

But it teaches the all-important skill of sitting still!

We actually start out at thirty seconds. When I felt that the girls were ready, we’d bump it up to a minute, then a minute and a half, two minutes, and three minutes.

Three minutes is the goal! (according to the Scheibner’s)

All in all, when I do this with all four kids, it takes about ten to fifteen minutes. Every now and then we let everyone go twice, but most of the time everyone just does it once. Of course, the older girls get longer times and the youngest is still working on thirty seconds.

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Now here is where I have to confess.

I’m terrible at doing this!! 

Which is so frustrating, because it helps the general welfare so much!

I don’t do it every day, but I should. Some weeks I don’t do it at all. But when I do, I’m always very, very happy.

I think it communicates a few things to your kids.

1. Daddy and Mommy are helping you learn how we expect you to behave.

2.You can sit still!

3. Self-control is a vital skill in life that you will need from now until the day you die.

Here are a few situations where having this “skill” can really save you:

1. Before meal time. “Okay kids, everybody at the table. Fold your hands and practice self-control until we’re ready to pray.”

2. When a child is having trouble stopping their crying. “We’re going to fold our hands and close our mouths until you are done.”

3. When the wiggles come during church or any other need-to-be-quiet-at function.

4. When a child is getting so wound up that they’re about to get in trouble. “Let’s sit down for a minute and practice self-control before you hurt yourself or someone or something else.”

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For awhile, I did a lot better at this, but it just seems that days are so busy now that it’s hard to fit in.

But that’s ridiculous.

Doing it definitely saves time in just about every other area.

Isn’t that the goal with training? To let your kids know what you expect and help them practice so it will be second nature as they go throughout their days?

For the record, my girls LOVE this. Like every other training game we do. = / C’mon, Mom, get with it!

And now, I’m officially convicted. We are doing this when Mckayla wakes up! Isn’t that the point of this series anyway?

My ideal would be to do this twice a day, four or five days a week.

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Do you have anything like this that works for you? Any ideas on making it a regular part of the day?

Thoughts?

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