It goes without saying, that self-discipline is one of the most vital character traits that we can teach our children. It’s also one of the hardest!
But never fear, I’ve compiled a list of 20 plug-and-play, no preparation needed, resources to help you do it! These feature books, movies, video clips, and/or other resources to help elementary-age children, teens, and YOU focus on developing self-discipline all month long.
Just pick and choose the ones that speak the most to you! The way it will work in my family, is we will do a read aloud all month. Then we’ll watch a video or read a children’s book every week. I’ll also hang the printable in an easy-to-see place.
Please, let me know what this looks like for you and how you are doing it in YOUR home!
This “choose your own adventure” book is fantastic and shows both the positive and negative consequences that happen because of Danny’s choices.
A child’s version of the adult classic. Fun pictures, great stories!
Any one who knows me, knows that I ADORE the Value Tales series- and so do my kids! They are out of print now, but you can usually find them used online, or at your library.
Video Clips for Children
- “Good Things Come to Those Who Wait”. Original link here.
- Adventures from the Book of Virtues- Self Discipline: This is found on Youtube for free, but the copy isn’t the greatest. It’s not on Amazon, but you can try Ebay if you’d like your own copy. The original link is here.
- We’ve all heard of the famous Marshmallow Experiment. Watch it with your kids, and discuss what it means with help from this article.
(Sometimes titled The Lost Prince of Samavia) LOVE this book! Fun adventure book, though written in an older style. So, so great. My son wrote a review and I included discussion questions here. A poor boy is taught extreme self discipline by his father without knowing exactly why. Soon, he is the linchpin of a revolution and discovers his royal heritage. (Even though this is listed for teens, my 9 and 7 year olds love listening to this story.)
Fantastic book! It’s a classic for a reason. Little, rich Sarah is good hearted and tries to be kind and generous- like a real princess. But when she becomes a pauper and a servant, she still has the same self discipline. Once her fortunes change again, the people around her realize that her outside circumstances do not change who she is on the inside. (Even though this is listed for teens, my 9 and 7 year olds love listening to this story.)
Written by teen brothers, this book focuses on being a rebel- by fighting the normal teen mentality. I loved this book! With common sense, a historical framework, inspiring stories and littered with Bible verses to further teach kids, I’m a fan.
A teen version of the classic. Fantastic and entertaining. You can even get a workbook for it here.
LOVE this true story of a man who faced crazy hard times. I’m not going to lie, it’s a little depressing at first. But! But! The triumph is AMAZING! I have discussion questions about it here.
An engaging read, this book does an excellent job at breaking down self-discipline into habits, then teaches you how to use habits to your benefit. Such great stuff in this book!
Video Clips for Teens
- This speech by Navy Admiral William H. McRaven went viral for a reason. “If you want to change the world, make your bed every day.” Original link here.
The story of Jackie Robinson. Jackie shows AMAZING self control. As his manager said, “I need someone brave enough to NOT fight back.” If that doesn’t show self discipline, I don’t know what does. (This does have some foul language and a little bit of sensuality. I use VidAngel for this one.)
You can find my review here. This teen overcomes peer pressure, addiction and a negative family culture to discover his best self.
The best way to have self discipline is to UNDERSTAND your personality and then HACK it. This book is soooo helpful. Love it!
This book is a classic for a reason. It’s a good one to read every year!
This is another MUST READ. Most of our problems with others…start with us. This is eye opening and inspiring. One of my absolute favorites.
Jane is my favorite fictional character. The way she holds to her moral standards, even when there are a lot of pretty darn good reasons to justify breaking them, is fantastic. You also see what happens to those who do NOT use self discipline. Again, this is a classic for a reason. (If you’ve watched the movies and decided that you don’t like this book: READ THE BOOK! I watched the movie and disliked the story. BUT THE BOOK IS AMAZING!) Sorry, I’ll stop shouting now. 😉