Self regulation and parenting

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Self regulation and parenting

What is the connection between self regulation and parenting?

Self regulation is the person's ability to control his emotions and impulses for the sake of attaining a bigger goal.

A good example of proper self regulation would be preventing yourself from eating an ice cream in order to reach your final goal (weight loss).

In my previous article how parenting styles impact children i explained how the way a parent treats his child affect his personality development to a great extent.

These little changes that happen during the childhood affects the child when he grows up and shapes his final personality.

Now the question is, what does parenting has to do with self regulation?

Parenting styles and self regulation

I am sure you know at least one person who is a chronic procrastinator, who never completes his tasks and who always shifts his interest to a new task before he completes the current one.

That serious self regulation problem is caused by the authoritarian parenting style.
The authoritarian parent puts great emphasis on obedience and allows very little flexibility.

Now the child who didn't learn self regulation yet starts to think only about the punishment he will get if he didn't comply and thus he fails to develop a direct connection between doing something and getting a benefit for his own.

As a result of this parenting style the child fails to develop self regulation abilities and becomes a procrastinator.

In another case procrastination and poor self regulation abilities might just be an attempt to rebel against the authoritarian parent. Because the child refuses to do these tasks but in the same time he can't say no to the controlling parent he becomes a procrastinator.

Good Parenting and self regulation

Now when the child is given more flexibility and when the parent explains in a diplomatic way why certain rules has to be followed the child manages to develop good self regulation abilities.

A child with poor self regulation abilities never learns how to work for his own sake but he learns how to always follow the rules others set and that's why later on in his life he either becomes a very poor planer or he never manages to do something unless someone tells him how to do it.

A friend of mine had an authoritarian parent who was very controlling and when that friend grew up he didn't only lack self regulation abilities but he became completely unable to plan for himself and never does anything unless someone plans it for him.

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