What habits are you teaching your child?

Source: trainingforwarriors.com

What habits does your child have? Typically, when we think of habits, we think of negative ones. But positive habits are just as important. The key is realizing that we, as parents, have great control over our children’s habits. The way we treat their behaviors (good or bad) serves to teach a lesson about those habits.

Here are some scenarios you might see in your home.

Good habits

  • You require that your child take his dishes to the kitchen after every meal. You send him back if you see he’s forgotten.
  • After every play time, you make sure he puts toys away where they belong (not just in any old bin).
  • You teach him how to properly brush his teeth and every now and then you pay close attention to make sure he’s doing it right.
  • You have a morning routine that includes putting clothes in the hamper, making his bed, brushing teeth, picking up any leftover toys.

I’d say if you do all of these things, you are well on your way to instilling great habits. If all of these habits are solidly under your belt, think about what more you could do.

Alternatively, think about some of the bad habits that may be going on in your home.

Bad habits

  • Your child tends to throw mini-tantrums over minor battles, but you decide to ignore them, hoping they’ll go away. (They won’t.)
  • You let your child ride a bike or scooter without a helmet. You think just once won’t hurt him, and that “just once” has turned into several times a week.
  • When he snatches a toy from his baby sister, you intervene by giving the baby a new toy. This teaches nothing to the older child about sharing.
  • You stifle laughter at some of his bad manners and potty jokes. That laughter only serves to encourage him, no matter how much you stifle it.
  • You’re lax about TV time, perhaps thinking that as soon as the baby sleeps through the night, you’ll fix it. Next thing you know, he can’t go a day without watching several hours of TV.
  • You’re inconsistent about hygiene issues like teeth-brushing, washing hands before meals, washing hands after going potty, etc.

Try to be honest with yourself if you see any of these (or other) bad habits creeping up in your home. But don’t be hard on yourself. We’re all human. A mixture of good and bad habits will naturally develop. It’s important to recognize the good ones for what they are, and do all we can to overcome the bad ones. Then always be on the lookout for new bad habits and new opportunities to teach good habits.

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