Tired asks:

How to instill self-restraint in an 8 year old?

Member Added on Jul 27, 2010
I have an 8-1/2 year-old granddaughter who will constantly touch things, drop her pencil, fidget, look around, scratch a sore, hum, sway to her humming music, say something to the dog -- ANYTHING to not do her homework while at the table.

This behavior extends also to when we go out. She thinks nothing of touching everything she sees in a store...constantly interrupting me when I'm speaking to someone...jerking her body/hands to a song that's only playing in her head...trying to gain attention, etc.  She's manipulative and cunning.  If she gets some reward out of it, she'll go along.  She KNOWS what constitutes good behavior.

I've asked her to try and remember THREE basic things: 1. STOP  2. THINK  3. ACT.

Her mother has not been a good role model (taking drugs when carrying baby, getting nasty to others when things don't go her way, going from one guy to the next, to find a man so she doesn't have to work, and getting fired from a job because she priced down some beer "for her friends" -- which is considered stealing -- but seeing nothing wrong in what she did).

How can I help my granddaughter for the 6 weeks of summer that I have her?

Her mother's answer to everything is to give the child ADD medication so the child calms down.  This, to me, is simply "drugging" her the same way they deal with unruly senior citizens by doping them up on meds to make them "behave."

I feel she needed more discipline & structure in her earlier years and didn't get it.
In Topics: Parenting / Our Family, Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago



Jul 28, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

One way to teach children self-restraint is to teach them limits.  You can do that by setting various age-appropriate rules.  Decide on what consequences there will be for breaking certain rules, and be consistent in implementing those consequences.  Some parents also have a lot of success in teaching kids self-restraint by involving their children in martial arts.

Suggested readings:

Practicing healthy discipline

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Additional Answers (1)

mayfieldga , Teacher writes:
I am thinking so much our children's lives are filled with so much stress at school, at home, in the neighborhood.  I know how the anxieties of my parents affected me.  I know their care for my invalid sister and two other siblings left me more anxious in different ways.  Also since I was the oldest, I think I felt my parent's anxieties also.  
I feel this created higher average stress in me that hurt my thinking, learning, motivation to learn and in addition, created pent up energy from that stress that continually sought relief through some form of activity.  I feel many children today who are seen as ADD or ADHD are really suffering from higher average internalized stress from various sources that then come out in more active impulsive behavior as a natural outlet for that higher stress.  I feel behavior modification will not work as it does not solve the problem of higher average stress that will continually be seeking relief.  I think all of us greatly affect those around us in different ways.  We can all learn to approach our lives more delicately to help both ourselves and others.

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