Self Control

As part of this week’s Positive Parenting feature, Coolmine Mid West spoke to parents as part of their Parents under Pressure programme. The conversation was based around ‘No Tobacco Day’ on 31st May. Today’s feature is based on their conversations.

Parenting is a tough gig! Some days when your child is tugging at you to give them a snack before dinner or to play a game on your phone just before bed, it’s easier just to give in. We know that delaying instant gratification can be tough for both parents and children.

Coolmine is an addiction service recently established in the Mid-West. As part of our conversation about ‘No Tobacco Day’, mothers in our group looked at strategies they use every day to both practice and teach their children about self-control and delaying gratification. We feel that the voice of our parents attending the group is important factor and that what they said could help other parents. The below experience is from Mums in our group.

One mum shared that instead of just buying her children sweets she puts some money into a money box during the week and uses this money to buy treats for her children at weekends.

Another mum shared that she makes sure that the sweets in her house are not readily accessible to her child. She does this so her child will have to come to her and ask can she have a treat. The mum added “I make it a habit for my child to ask for something she wants instead of grabbing it herself”. This helps the child to slow down and delay their need for instant gratification from eating a treat.

Additionally, a mum said that she does not allow her children to have sugary foods after 5 o’clock as this can affect their sleep pattern. Another mum said to give your child something small to eat before bed to help them sleep.

One mum said that she sets a certain amount of time aside each day (about 1 hour) for her child to use the tablet. She added that sticking to the 1 hour is important. Another mum added that her children must have their dinner first before they are allowed screen time.

Another mum said developing good routines is important and being persistent and sticking to these routines is key. One mum suggested creating routines with children when they are younger and being consistent with this as they become teenagers. The mum added that her daily routine with her children is to drop and collect from school, homework, dinner, 1 hour of screen time and 1 hour reading a book and then bedtime.

One mum said to not reward bad behaviour i.e., no treats or toys and being consistent with this.

Our mum’s also felt it is best to model good behaviours in front of their children such as being good with money. One of the mums is modelling this by saving the extra money she now has after switching from cigarettes to tobacco. The mum is saving this money to put towards their first family holiday.

This article was contributed by parents with support of Coolmine. Coolmine is an addiction service recently established in the Mid-West. For more information go to Parenting Limerick is a network of parenting and family support organisations. For more information on this and other topics go to



What is Coolmine?

Coolmine is an addiction service recently established in the Mid-West. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to overcome addiction and lead a fulfilled and productive life. Our vision, mission and values are honestly, consistency, responsibility, dignity & respect, compassion, safety & security, and quality & research.

We provide a range of community and residential services to empower people and their families to overcome addiction and support recovery. Coolmine works from evidence-based practices to support people in change and maintaining that change through Motivational Interviewing, Case Management, Community Reinforcement Approach and Parents Under Pressure.


What is the Community Reinforcement Approach?

Our Community Reinforcement Approach (CRA) is a behavioral program designed to treat substance abuse problems. It is based on the belief that drinking or drug use is encouraged or discouraged by the persons environment. The goal of CRA is to make a substance free lifestyle more rewarding for the person.


What is Parents Under Pressure?

Parents Under Pressure (PuP) is a program developed to help parents create and develop positive and secure relationships with their children. PuP uses a strengths-based approach which focuses on the individuals’ strengths as a parent and helps them create positive goals to work towards.