Some adults think of self-discipline as avoiding the chocolate fondue station at an event or resisting the urge to buy something we can’t really afford. Well, that’s part of it for sure. But how do you teach self-discipline to young women? It may sound super-challenging but really it’s not.
First, let’s talk a bit about the meaning of self-discipline.
self-dis·ci·pline | noun The ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses; the ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it.
In speaking with many women, I’ve found that those who were not allowed to make choices and face consequences early on were more apt to struggle with self-discipline as young adults.
One, in particular, told me about how strict and overbearing her parents were (now sometimes referred to as helicopter parenting). They kept her so cloistered and fearful that she suffered later with self-esteem issues, lacked “normal” coping skills and turned to drugs and alcohol to deal with the feelings of being unprepared for life. Are you a helicopter parent? Take this quiz to find out.
I’m not saying that every young girl who has strict parents will develop substance abuse issues, but I am saying that there are ways to encourage her self-discipline skills from an early age.
Some ways you can create an environment that fosters self-discipline:
- Allow your child to work to find her own solutions to age-appropriate problems
- Learn about and discuss the value of consequences
- Allow your child to experiment with safe activities, clothing, and other ways she can express herself (even if you don’t “want” her to)
- Talk openly about your own challenges with delaying gratification
You can find a whole chapter about how to empower your child by teaching self-discipline and many other fantastic tips to help with courage, confidence, and authenticity in the book Simply Be Your Magnificent Self! Buy it today — we’d love to hear what you think!