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Help your kids achieve more by teaching them this one simple trait

Dr. Erica Resicher dishes the one, single trait that can help your kids achiever higher levels of success! Find out what it is here!

Parents are always looking for new ways to help their kids to develop to be the very best they can possibly be. That's probably why moms and dads go the extra mile and spend huge wads of cash on expensive tutors, extracurriculars, and learning peripherals. Well, those options may be viable in their own right, but what if the key to helping kids achieve more didn't stem from excessive studying and exhaustive hard work?

According to Dr. Erica Reischer--psychologist, parent educator, speaker, and author of What Great Parents Do: The small Book of BIG Parenting Ideas--children have the ability to reach their maximum potential by practicing one simple trait: self-control.

Before you throw your hands in the air, and express your disbelief, here's some food for thought:

Years ago, researchers conducted a famous study known as the “marshmallow” experiments. In it, researchers tested preschoolers’ self-control and ability to delay gratification by sitting them alone in a room with--you guessed it--a marshmallow. The goal was to see exactly how long they could wait without consuming the tasty treat; thus, measuring of their self-control.

help your kids achieve more

In the years since the experiment, the subjects of the test who resisted temptation the longest have gone on to show the highest academic achievement. In fact, their ability to delay eating the marshmallow was a better predictor of their future academic success than their IQ scores.

As Dr. Resicher reports on Psychology Todayadditional studies have shown that self-control also correlates highly with greater stress tolerance and concentration abilities, as well as increased empathy, better emotion regulation, and social competence.

So as much as it is our parental instinct to thrust children into extracurriculars, advanced courses, and lengthy study sessions, Reischer claims, "We can help our children be successful by helping them practice and develop skills related to self-control."

As with any trait, the earlier it is taught, the easier it is implemented into everyday life. So that means helping kids practice self-control at an early age!

Find out how to teach your kids how to demonstrate a strong sense of self-control! Visit page 2 for more!

Dr. Reischer suggests that for young children, the key to unlocking their potential to demonstrate a strong sense of self-control is through imaginative play. As she writes, "Imaginative play is an especially critical part of practicing self-control, since during play, kids set their own rules and are motivated to respect those rules when the game is fun."

One helpful suggestion, as proposed by neuroscientists Sandra Aamodt and Sam Wang, is to simulate a learning environment through playtime. “To play school, you have to act like a teacher or a student, and inhibit your impulses to act like a fighter pilot or a baby. Following these rules provides children with some of their earliest experiences with controlling their behavior to achieve a desired goal.”

help your kids achieve more

Obviously, teaching self-control to your kids can prove to be highly efficient in unlocking your kids' potential. But it should be kept in mind that traits like self-control are skills that can be improved through practice. As Resicher suggests, "Be sure your child has lots of opportunities. Remember this is not about following rules in order to please others or avoid punishment; it’s about learning to control one’s own impulses in order to achieve a goal."

"Keep in mind that children vary in their initial ability to demonstrate self-control, so start at the level where your child is now. The goal is to help your child succeed at developing this vital skill, so focus on her progress relative to where she was before and praise her for doing better this time, rather than comparing her to others," she adds.

[H/T] Psychology Today

READ: 5 Steps to becoming a peaceful parent with happy kids

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