We have “self-control practice at our house. We literally practice sitting and not moving from 30 seconds to 5 minutes. In order to make this more relevant we sometimes allow the children to try to distract (without touching) each other. This gives them the skill of obeying, in this case sitting still, despite circumstances. Now they know what I expect when I whisper into their ear, “You need to practice self-control.” We recently read in one of the Laura Ingles books how they sat ALL day on Sundays—with no excuse given for different personality types. So this has motivated us to demand more from our children. They can sit still during Bible reading and the can sit patiently at the table until everyone is finished eating. These now seem so basic, but were starting to get away from us.
Every day I fix my girl’s hair. If we did not practice self-control hair fixing could a time of real trial. Sitting still has to be taught…it does not come naturally. What does come naturally is squirming and to say “ouch” every time the comb is pulled through their hair. We had to teach them that there is a difference between feeling the comb pulling and pain. “Ouch” is for pain. They need to use it wisely or we will not take their pain seriously.