Healthwise
To print: Use your web browser's print feature. Close this window after printing.

Preschoolers: Building Self-Control

Table of Contents


Topic Overview

Gaining self-control is one of the biggest challenges that children face between the ages of 2 and 5. Children need guidance, clear limits, and patient parents during this time of behavioral and emotional struggles. They also need interaction with other children and adults to help them learn self-control and self-confidence.

Recommended methods of promoting self-control

Children learn to control their emotions best when parents and caregivers:

Avoid physical punishment

Do not spank or hit your child. Some parents use spanking, hitting, or other forms of physical punishment to discipline children. Despite a common argument that physical punishment works because it makes a memorable impression on the child, this type of discipline teaches children:


Credits for Preschoolers: Building Self-Control

Current as of: September 20, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
John Pope MD - Pediatrics
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Louis Pellegrino MD - Developmental Pediatrics


Note: The "printer friendly" document will not contain all the information available in the online document. Some information (e.g. cross-references to other topics, definitions or medical illustrations) is only available in the online version.

© 1995-2021 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.