More Encouragement For Teaching Our Kids Good Habits

In the stress of our move I found myself reverting to old habits that I’d forgotten I even had.

  • As I reached for the cookie jar when the kids weren’t looking my old unhealthy relationship with food came freshly to mind.
  • Even though I’ve had a good organization system for a few years now, I found myself afraid to write important tasks down for fear I’d lose the paper and forget the task.
  • I started feeling oppressed by the piles of papers and clutter around me and helpless to move forward.

I was surprised at how strongly my old habits came back when my environment changed. One moment I could hardly remember my old life; next thing I knew, I was living it again.

It was a timely reminder that it’s worth the patience and perseverance it takes to train children in good habits.

If cleaning up after themselves becomes second nature when they are young, it will not leave them when they are grown.

I’ve heard stories of parents who claim their kids cleaned up when they were young but stopped when they were teens or were on their own. I can’t help wondering if the kids had the habit and lost it or if they only cleaned up because their parents made them.

Training our kids in the habit of picking up is harder than making them pick up.

I’m not sure if we can ever tell for sure if the habit is the child’s, but it’s worth aiming for. The less we have to be involved the more likely it’s becoming an established habit.

Maybe being neat isn’t a highly important value for you, but think about what is. What behavior do you want to be second nature for your grown children?

Bad habits are hard to change now, but they’ll be even harder to change later.

Stay strong and work on good habits now. Lead by example. Take it slowly. Be patient and persistent. And don’t forget to celebrate your progress!

You and your kids will be grateful for it!

What good habits does your family have? How did you develop them? Please share!

5 thoughts on “More Encouragement For Teaching Our Kids Good Habits”

  1. It’s pretty awkward guessing here what good habits our kids took with them, but since they’ve both told me about this one, I’ll mention the practices of tithing and saving. I had no idea how well that would stick when we established that 10% of their allowances was to be given and 10% saved, right off the top. It might have just led them to believe that their allowances were 20% less than they were. But somehow it clicked.

    That reminds me that what makes a habit stick is often something very small, very simple. The trick is finding what that small, simple thing is!

  2. One good habit that I can think of that I’ve “inherited” from my own childhood is eating together at the table for dinner. In our home, all our meals are taken together at the table, but particularly dinner, when daddy is home.

    Similarly, we only drink water.

    Sadly, I’m not sure we have any other good habits. 🙂

    1. And you don’t snack between meals! I remember your daughter begging for a snack because she was starving and you said dinner was soon – only three hours. You finally relented and gave her ONE raisin. I realized then why I’m not on the thinner side . . . 😉 You cook great meals, though!

      Meals together are great for so many reasons. I take it for granted, but we should celebrate that we make it happen! Good work!

  3. Oh, yes. Eating together is a great habit, one that was so common when I was growing up that I never thought of it as a good habit. Dinner we always ate together, breakfast often, and when my father worked close enough to home to walk, sometimes even lunch. When our own kids were growing up, we kept the dinner habit, and lunch when people weren’t at work/school. I can’t remember about breakfast — can my kids help me out here?

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