One of the most common reasons parents bring their children to a martial arts school is to teach them about impulse control. Doing the first thing that pops into our head without thinking through all of the possible solutions can end up in results that are less than what we hoped for. So we are going to spend some time this month on the subject of self control.
Our child development specialist, Robyn Silverman, gave us this system for gaining this control. We want to remember STEP.
Here is how it works. S is for Stop. First we must find a way to slow ourselves down before we do the first thing that pops into our head. It might be taking 3 deep breaths or stepping away from a situation, but we must distract ourselves before making that decision. T is for THINK. Make a list of all the possible solutions you can come up with. Some of them may seem ridiculous, but the point is to let your mind be creative and think of all of the ways you could handle this situation. E is for EVALUATE. Now look at each solution and decide if this would result in a good consequence or a bad one. Is this solution safe? Is it fair? Some of the choices you will throw away and some you will keep. But then you need to decide which one is going to be best for you at this time. P is for PROCEED. Now is the time to implement your choice. Here is where great balance is needed as you proceed you choose what is thoughtful with being eager and gutsy. You balance your goals and self motivation with being level headed and thoughtful.
Maintaining self control is really just about slowing down and thinking through our choices before acting on them.