“The habits of the child produce the character of the man.”
Sick and tired of fighting with your kids? It doesn't work, does it?
There really is a better way... Habit-Training.
What is habit-training?
Habit-training is the intentional process of creating a habit. A habit is anything a person does on a regular basis without having to think about it.
Read on to find out how to harness habit training to stop fighting and start working together..
My daughter has the bad habit of dropping everything on the floor. You can imagine what her side of the room looks like at bedtime. Not a pleasant way to end the day, right?
At first I tried to get my Drop-Everything-on-the-Floor Daughter to create the habit of Use a Thing, Put It Back. It sounds simple enough, but I could not hover over her and every item in the house. It was simply not possible to remind her of the habit consistently.
After much frustration, I took a step back and changed my approach: I put a little chart on her door, numbered 1 to 30 and wrote “Books Away” on it. I told her that if she had all the books put away when we came up to tuck her in for bed, she could have a star on the chart. After she got all 30 stars, we would take her to the dollar store and she could pick out anything she wanted!
When we checked her room each evening, we ignored everything but the books. I gave her grace with the rest of the mess (within reason).
We focused on the one habit. This let me encourage her, and not stress out.
Very quickly she learned that she never had to pick up any books if she didn’t drop them on the floor! The habit became important to her, and she put the effort into it!
She earned her prize, and the next month we started a new chart. Same deal, but now she has to have the books and her craft supplies put away to get her star.
I have to tell you, I was totally kicking myself. All the nagging in the world had done nothing to help her tidy up her part of the room. I wasted months battling with her!
By giving her a clear goal, and focusing on one habit, we were able to make a huge change. And I was able to be encouraging and kind. To give her grace over the other stuff! And slowly but surely we are making progress!
That’s the power of Habit-Training.
How to get started:
This is how habit-training works for me. Everyone's different...
If you'd like to read up on the original habit-training queen, you can read Charlotte Mason's thoughts on habit formation here (for free). It's a very old book, but an interesting read!
Copyright 2016 by Anna Travis. All rights reserved.
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