13 Ways to Instill Self-Control

Updated: Apr 5, 2021

Self-control is the #1 most important virtue because you can’t have the other virtues until you first have self-control.

“Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back.” Proverbs 29:11 (NLT)


Did you know there are over 40 virtues that we should instill into our children? (A virtue is a character trait that is considered morally excellent, such as kindness, unselfishness, and honesty.) While all of them are important, there’s one virtue that is the foundation of all the others. It’s self-control.


Self-control is the #1 most important virtue because you can’t have the other virtues until you first have self-control. For instance, you can’t always be kind, or respectful, or hard working unless you first have the self-control to exhibit that trait.


Self-control is the ability to control your impulses, emotions, or desires. In other words, self-control means doing the right thing whether you feel like it or not. Whether it's speaking respectfully when you’re really mad, or doing your chores when you don’t want to, self-control involves not getting your way and not getting upset about it.


Self-control is needed in every aspect of life. Children (and adults) need self-control to be able to:


  • Sit still and listen.

  • Control their temper and tongue.

  • Persevere to get their work done.

  • Respect others and their belongings.

  • Stay healthy, by way of diet and exercise.

  • Resist overspending.

  • Moderate internet surfing and gaming.

  • Stay drug, alcohol, and smoke free.


However, children (and adults) who lack self-control have the following traits:


  • Self-centeredness

  • Laziness