The Importance of Willpower for Kids
Everybody knows the age old adage:
When there’s a will, there’s a way.
However, when there is lack of will, it can really feel like there is no way. And while that is not the best situation for anyone to be in, it’s particularly harmful for kids.
In order to move ahead in life, accomplish tasks and achieve success, exercising willpower is crucial. Willpower can help children overcome any obstacles they may face during the completion of a difficult task, for example. In fact, willpower can play a very strong role in developing a new skill, cracking an exam, performing on stage, playing a match and the like.
Truly, its role is undeniable in a child’s growth, and that is exactly what we will be talking about today! Read on to know more about what willpower is, its importance, benefits for your kids and more!
What is willpower?
The American Psychological Association defines will power as the ability to control any short-term temptations that may be instantly achievable in order to achieve the long-term goals one may have set.
Willpower can be equated with self-control and can also be considered as the antidote of procrastination. It is a force that drives you forward to do the things you want to do, it drives you to change for the better. You can say that willpower and self-discipline go hand-in-hand.
Importance of willpower in life
The importance of willpower in life cannot be underestimated. This can be better illustrated with the lack of it. Say for example, you or your kid, have picked up a bad habit. Now you know it is bad, and you want to get rid of it, but you cannot muster up the will to do it. The habit remains and you can see its adverse effects take over and govern your life.
The lack of willpower can be the biggest deterrent that can prevent you from achieving your goals, be it small goals (like not eating a piece of chocolate) or bigger goals (such as securing a good career for yourself).
According to an article published in the American Psychological Association, lack of willpower can hamper a person’s health, preventing them from reaching any personal health, wellness and fitness goals they may have set. That alone goes to show how important willpower can be.
How to make strong willpower
Teaching your kids how to make a strong willpower can seem challenging but it is actually highly achievable! Let us show you how you can instil this value in your kids.
- Set an example for your child
- Instil discipline in your child
- Keep up with your child’s pace
If you commonly demonstrate your willpower to your kids, they are bound to pick it up from you. Say for example, you are trying to eat healthy and your goal is to cut out junk food as much as possible. When you go to a restaurant with your kids, make it a point to order the healthiest item on the menu if nobody else is, reaffirming your belief in eating healthy. This is a great way to make your kids follow your lead. The key is to stay consistent.
If willpower is a pillar, discipline is its foundation. That said, instilling discipline in your child can seem like a very tough task as children can have limited attention spans. However, you can make this easier on yourself and your child by starting small. For example, you could make a particular activity an everyday routine so your child gets in the habit of doing it consistently on their own. This can help make them disciplined.
You might want your child to imbibe the lessons you give them on willpower immediately, but must realise that your child’s pace may not be the same as you expect it to be. It is important to temper your expectations accordingly and to move at the same pace as your child. Even if that means slowing down. Having some patience can help both you and your child.
Other things you can do to help your child gain willpower to help them not cave into peer pressure. Peer pressure can often waiver a child’s discipline so it is important to remind your child of the long-term benefits of staying strong. Frequent reaffirmation of the principles of willpower can also help.
Benefits of willpower
There are many benefits of willpower that your child can reap when they exercise this trait. Here are the core benefits.
- Helps your child achieve their goals
- Makes them emotionally resilient
- Improves your child’s health
- Improves their interpersonal relationships
Be it performing well academically or improving at a sport, having willpower can gear kids towards their goals. It can keep them motivated and focused and help them overcome any obstacles that may arise in their way.
For children, managing their own emotions is difficult. However, if they successfully develop the trait of willpower, they may be able to regulate their emotions better. Thus, controlling their impulses and taking well-thought-out decisions instead. It can also prevent negative emotions from escalating.
Since willpower is crucial to keeping up with healthier habits, it can have a positive impact on your child’s overall wellbeing as well. They might be more motivated to eat healthy, exercise regularly and sleep on time.
As we mentioned before, willpower can control negative emotions from escalating and prevent impulses from overpowering kids in any given moment. This can help them avoid conflict, inculcating in them the habit to listen first and be empathetic instead of impulsive.
Having willpower can make all the difference in your child’s overall behaviour and wellbeing. At EuroKids, we try our best to instil this wonderful value in your child so they can reap all of its amazing benefits! To know how we do this, be sure to visit your nearest EuroKids centre.