Scaffolding for Self-Control

view from behind of a small child running on a grassy hillside
Photo by jonas mohamadi from Pexels

Well, last week whipped by while I was busy doing other things and I didn't keep up with my excellent goals about blogging every single week.  I'm sure most of you are too busy to be reading much in the way of blogs right now anyway!

I attended a workshop last week about Brief Interventions with families  with Dr. Robert Nix from UW Extension and UW Madison.  I will be putting other tidbits on the blog about this workshop, I want to be able to verify with the follow-up information before I share it out

In the meantime, I wanted to share some scaffolding that adults can do with very young kids that will help with building self-control skills.   Many of you probably do this naturally with the kids you come in contact with, but reminders and affirmations are always good!

Describe what kids are doing.  Adults can be like a sportscaster, giving the play-by-play of what kids are doing.  Words allow some pause between thoughts and actions, and can change where feelings are processed in the brain.

Reflect what kids are saying.  Repeat and affirm what kids are saying.

Praise for effort--not outcome.  Not "good job" but "you worked hard on that!"

Give choices between two acceptable options.  (Do you want to use the red crayon or the blue one?  Would you rather use the flower or the butterfly stamp?)

Do you already do this?  I'm guessing maybe the trickiest one is praising for effort instead of outcome, but this has some great scientific underpinnings, if applied properly.

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