Parents who teach their children to be in control of their emotions, desires, and behavior may be setting their children up for a more successful life.
A new study published in the journal Psychological Science has now found a link between children with stronger self-control and higher-quality job prospects as adults. Children with self-control pay closer attention, prevail through tedious tasks, and shy away from impulsive behavior.
"While a link between adults' self-control and immediate job success might seem obvious, it wasn't clear whether measures of childhood self-control could forecast who successfully enters the workforce and avoids spells of unemployment across adult life," notes Science Daily. A few years ago, another study also found a correlation between childhood self-control and fewer bad judgments during the teen years.
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Researchers used data from two previous studies of more than 15,000 children. They learned that children who displayed characteristics of self-control spent 40 percent less time unemployed than those who showed few signs of self-control—and this was especially true during times of recession and economic hardship.
A variety of factors can explain why those without self-control may have fewer job prospects and longer unemployment, such as inability to deal with stress, frequent job interruptions, and bad habits and lifestyle choices (poor time management and inconsistent sleep patterns).
Self-control can be developed in a number of ways. School programs, preschool interventions, meditation, and physical activities like yoga can all improve children's control of themselves, says lead researcher Michael Daly.
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Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She's a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn
Parenting Style: Positive Parenting
Image: Self-control via Shutterstock