Smiling Dancing Toddler GirlOne aspect of self-control is inhibitory control, or the ability to stop oneself and wait.  Toddlers love stop-and-go games because they allow them to practice control over their physical bodies and to revel in their mastery of this control.  Inhibitory control is important in social interactions where taking turns is involved, and as such is an important skill for success in school.

In fact, studies suggest that “children who learn that they have the capacity and opportunity to exert control over their actions early in life may be more likely to learn to accept responsibility for their actions as they mature.”

(Fostering Children’s Social Competence:  The Teacher’s Role by Lilian G. Katz and Diane E. McClellan)

Tips for parents: Teach your child the ASL for “stop” as seen HERE.  Giving your child something to do (i.e., making the sign for “stop”) helps them be able to stop more immediately, plus it’s a fun thing for kids to learn.  It is also a good non-verbal communication tool for you to have handy when there’s a need for your child to stop.  You can also play a simple stop-and-go game by singing and moving, stopping at the end of the song with the ASL “stop” sign, and going again with as many more verses as you can stand!

Shared by Theresa Case, whose Kindermusik program at Piano Central Studios in Greenville, SC, is proudly among the top 1% of Kindermusik programs worldwide.

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