Most of the students who struggle in college lack the discipline to do what is needed. High school was too easy for many students. As a result, they never developed the discipline they needed.
Developing discipline is something each person must want to do. All too often, students will say they are committed to doing what’s needed, but their actions don’t match their words.
What can you do as a parent to help your student develop discipline? The one thing that doesn’t work is rant and rave about your student’s performance. This will often lead to the opposite of what you want to achieve. College students want to develop their own ways of doing things so telling them what to do probably won’t work.
Here are some strategies that you can try:
1. Ask your student to develop a checklist for each day. Have your student read Planning Your Day -1 and Planning Your Day -2. Then ask your student to send you the checklist for each day with items checked off that were accomplished.
It’s good to discuss these items with your students not in a critical way but to get a sense of how your student is doing.
2. Ask your student to read the following topics:
- Developing Assignment Discipline
- Learning How to Say “No”
- Staying Motivated
- Starting a Streak to Maintain Attendance
- Staying Organized
You might want to have your student read one of these topics each week and then discuss with you how that topic helped in the development of discipline.
3. Every four weeks ask your student: “What changes have you seen in your discipline?” The answer to this question will ask your student to put into perspective the changes he/she are going through. Often students get weighed down by daily setbacks that they don’t see the big picture.
4. Suggest your student find a friend who can help them as a discipline coach. A discipline coach is like a personal trainer. It’s someone who will be with your student throughout the day to help keep him/her on track. If your student has a boyfriend or girlfriend who is very disciplined, then this person would work well as a coach.
Discipline doesn’t come easy. It’s something that everyone has to work at. One of the side benefits of college is that it develops discipline of students who were undisciplined when they came to college.