Raising self-controlled children

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In recent decades, self-control has received increasing attention as it can safeguard child-development and human wellbeing. Researchers from various disciplines – philosophy, neuroscience and social psychology – have investigated what self-control is, how it is generated and how it can be stimulated. This chapter critically reflects on recent discussions of the concept and the science of self-control while investigating their bearings on the question of whether parents have a responsibility to raise self-controlled children and what that would entail. The argument put forth is that current social psychology and neuroscience largely investigates controlled behaviour but ignores the prefix self. Consequently, a more comprehensive understanding of the term that does justice to both aspects is provided. This gives rise to two different sets of educational goals. Firstly, raising self-controlled children entails teaching them strategies to overcome temptation. Secondly, it requires that parents support children to develop a self that sets its own goals, reflects on these goals and considers them as reasons for action.keywordsagencyakrasiaautonomycombat-modelcompulsionconstitution-modeldelay of gratificationeducationinhibitionkorsgaard, chmarshmallow testmotivationneurosciencephilosophy of actionprefrontal cortexselfself-controlself-determinationself-control strategysocial psychologyrecklessnessvelleman, dweakness of will.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationParental Responsibility in the Context of Neuroscience and Genetics
EditorsKristien Hens, Daniela Cutas, Dorothee Horstkötter
PublisherSpringer, Cham
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-42834-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-42832-1
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

SeriesInternational Library of Ethics, Law, and the New Medicine

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