Self-regulation is another way to refer to self-control. One of the challenges we face is how to give up our authority and gradually turn control over our children. Knowing when to retain control and when to allow your children to be in charge of themselves is tricky. The younger the child, the greater is your role in taking responsibility for their guidance. Ultimately, we want older adolescents to be prepared to be their own masters.

JOURNAL 5: The tightrope
Sometime it is difficult to know when to yield and when to stand firm. Think of a time when you had to tell your child no. Why was firm authority necessary at that time? Can you also think of a time when you gave permission to your child to do something that was previously against the rules? How did the child manage this new privilege?

When to say no and when to say yes is a constant challenge for parents. Knowing when to assert parental authority to protect the child and others and when to turn that authority over to children is a difficult balancing act. Authority must be gradually given up and handed to children if your ultimate goal is self-responsibility. Parents have to figure this timetable out for themselves for every child is different.

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