Effectiveness of Self-Control Theory

Ineffectiveness of Self Control Theory on Child Rearing

In a family, children are of high significance especially on the traits and image they portray to the outside world. Parental care is more concerned with the behavior towards characters the children inherit from the maternal parents (Susan, 2006). The children depict the parents’ reaction and behavior, during the childhood daily distress encounters; for example, discomfort, pain and sorrows. However, allowing children to have the freedom and the ability to implement self-control over their own thoughts, such as sentiment, rejoinder and others, is ineffective and very much unacceptable if the parents or the available guardians are responsible for dictating how the future of the children should be (Robert, 2008). This research study is supposed to explicitly analyze the ineffectiveness of self-control theory in child-rearing.

During childhood, it is very difficult for the child to determine which option to take in order to prosper in one way or the other. The destiny of the children lies mostly on education, co and extra curriculum activities, which most of the children do not have interest in it at all. On contrary, children are dictated by the situations and events around them (Susan, 2006). Weak social control over the children at the tender age acts as a leeway that the children follow assuming that they are on the right track. However, if the deviation in the child behavior were taken with a lot of concern, like in the case of a family relationship, whereby slight deviations to the norms within the family threaten the relationship, then there would be a lot of concern and tender care to the young generation (Jeanne, 2005).

The structure of the family also plays part in the decision on how the process of child-rearing would be taken: for example, two households, whereby one house consists of both the parents while the other consists of only a single parent. In our case, for the mother to maintain the house similar to a house with both the parents, it is the jurisdiction of the mother (single parent) to do the same workload, as is the case of a complete house.

This becomes difficult given that the mother is not available to keep watch on the child at all times (Jane, 2005). The mother might decide to allow the child to exercise self-control just to realize the effects of self-control when it is too late to rehabilitate the child. In addition to that, research studies carried out all over the world indicates that children with single parents score poorly compared to the ones from infant families. This condition was realized through intensive investigations on different families with equal socioeconomic status, income and mother’s employment (Charny, 2006).

Most of the decisions that children prefer are short-lived and would culminate into criminal activities. As noted by Robert, (2008), children at tender age tend to touch anything that they come across due to adventure. However, due to advancements in technology, it has become very risky to allow children to act on what they feel is right. Some situations that they may opt for are highly detrimental to their life; for example, trying to find out the difference between water and petrol, taking each sample and placing it in a burning fire to keenly monitor the reactions of the two liquid substances. This and more are some of the examples that show how ineffective it is to allow the children to have self-control over their routines during their childhood stages of development (Susan, 2006).

In summary, children as Jeanne, (2005), suggests that they are still far from making personal decisions and are therefore, not supposed to exercise self-control despite the inability of the parents and guardians to have control over their traits during the adventure stage of development till the authorized age at which they become responsible for their criminal activities (Robert, 2008).

How people with low self-control act impulsively and spontaneously are more likely than people with high self-control to commit a crime

The theory of self-control and crime are two different entities, restrain or control do not lead to crime. However, having low or high self-control may regulate the rate at which an individual reacts to events that would lead to criminal activity. The research is supposed to distinctively illustrate how self-control affects or influences criminal activities in the day-to-day routines, through considering common factors that entice or avert the desire to be engaged in crime (Cheng, 2007).

People act differently whenever they face an event that is likely to increase chances of criminal offenses (Breen, 2007). However, the rate at which individuals view the cases and the consequences that may arise after the crime normally differs. Low self-control refers to the inability of an individual to reason beyond the crime to be committed in order to restrain from the actions that would lead to the offense. Some people are freely engaged in criminal activities while others view the resultant consequences prior to the action/offense. This brings the difference between the two groups, that is the low self-controlled and the high self-controlled (Masicampo, 2007).

In addition to that, the high self-controlled individuals who are the people with ability to weigh the consequences of an offense are often not safe as they hardly get involved in criminal activities compared to the low self-control group who acts before they compare the consequences of either being active or inactive during incidents (Cheng, 2007).

People with strong emotional attachments to others for example witnessing someone offending their family member, friend or relative, are more aggressive, hence they can easily be engaged in crime (Gutsell, 2007). However, if they might view the upset and the consequences of the crime, their attitude toward the criminal activities would drastically reduce. The studies show that individuals who obey, love and respect their parents, guardians, relatives and other conventional people, hardly get involved in criminal activities, while the individuals who feel the opposite content themselves that they have less to lose by engaging in any criminal offense (Cheng, 2007).

Finally, some people are dictated by their traits, which alters their responsiveness, hence making them unable to restrain from acting according to their immediate desires. For example, being provoked falsely to fight against an individual regardless of the mistake, or offering individuals drugs in order to control their actions according to their perceived thoughts without considering the long-term behavioral consequences on the individual victims (Maner et al, 2007).

Factors that lower the rate at which individuals exercise self-control is the jeopardy involved in losing fulfilled perception. For example, achieving the dream job or house just to realize that somebody is struggling to get you out of the achievement, such cases may result in negative perceptions leading to criminal offenses. Failure to achieve the target in life does not mean the end of life; each and every individual is capable of recapturing even better chances in life.

Temperamental actions, peer influences, depression, anxiety just to mention can be overcome at a less cost than contentment through criminal actions that are detrimental to an individual’s destiny (Masicampo, 2008). The low self-controlled individuals should seek proper guidance to find a better way to console themselves considering the consequences that would arise from criminal offenses that arise due to other controllable incidences and situations (Breen, 2007).


Breen, W. E. (2007). Social Anxiety and Disinheriting: An Analysis Of Curiosity And Social Rank Appraisals, Approach-Avoidance Conflicts, And Disruptive Risk-Taking Behavior. Journal of Anxiety Disorders. 22, pp. 925-939.

Charny, W. (2006). Fascism and Democracy In The Human Mind: A Bridge Between Mind And Society. Jerusalem-Israel: Sage Press.

Cheng, K. (2007). Improvements In Self-Control From Financial Monitoring. Journal of Economic Psychology. 28, pp. 487-501.

Gutsell, J. N. (2007). Running On Empty: Neural Signals for Self-Control Failure. Psychological Science. 18, pp. 933-937.

Jane, W. (2005). Securing the Future: Investing in Children from Birth to College. London: Oxford Press.

Jeanne, E. (2005). Educational Psychology: Developing Learners. Virginia-USA: Longhorn Publishers.

Maner, J. K., Plant, E. A., Tice, M. et al. (2007). Self-Control Relies On Glucose As A Limited Energy Source: Willpower Is More Than A Metaphor. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 92, pp. 325-336.

Masicampo, E. J. (2008). Toward A Physiology of Dual-Process Reasoning and Judgment: Lemonade, Willpower, And Effortful Rule-Based Analysis. Psychological Science. 19, pp. 255-260.

Robert, B. (2008). Behavior Modification in Child Treatment: An Experimental and Clinical Approach. New York: Penguin Press.

Susan, B. (2006). Behavior Problems in Preschool Children: Clinical and Developmental Issues. Washington: Oxford Press.

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