Building Good Habits amongst Children

“We are what we repeatedly do. Success is not an action but a Habit “Aristotle It’s 7 pm, and my mind goes on an auto-start with the evening prayers followed by saying the Times’ Tables. I feel that we have been practicing this all our lives. It’s not about which prayer or religion but just […]

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We are what we repeatedly do. Success is not an action but a Habit

Aristotle

It’s 7 pm, and my mind goes on an auto-start with the evening prayers followed by saying the Times’ Tables. I feel that we have been practicing this all our lives.

It’s not about which prayer or religion but just saying them in the exact same sequence at the exact same time daily. That made my mind feel settled and focused. It also brought in a daily awareness that it was closer to dinner time.

It is often experienced that doing something daily and at a particular time or just having predictability in some of the things makes one feel in control of life.

While there are good habits and bad habits. Parents strive to ensure that their children learn to practice all possible good habits that would help them in their lives. Creating habits helps to become organized and creating routines and instilling habits just help them be in control, become collaborators and help their parents.

So, what are these good habits that parents are trying to instill & how do they help a child?

When asked any parent would easily list them as Writing, reading, saying times tables, exercising and so on.

Or are they only these? What about picking up your plate and washing it? How about tidying the bed before leaving?

They can teach most of the curriculums at schools, but life skills become a habit when practiced deliberately.

During the pandemic it was the children who first picked up a good habit of washing hands with a soap, using sanitizers and masks. The reason because of the reminders everywhere – TV, Social media, home, school, transport or public places. They have been the real heroes adapting and protecting themselves.

So, what is exactly the science behind forming a good habit? Is it doing something repeatedly till it becomes second nature?

Strategies to form Habits amongst Children:

  1. Make it interesting & Acknowledge
    Create games around the habit for younger children and acknowledge them when they complete it.  For example, bringing an interesting type of pen so that they start loving to write.
  2. Inclusion
    Include them in various activities while instilling these habits. One could take their child’s help to create a grocery list before going to the store. Which would help a child want to write and make the child aware of grocery required, quantities, and types.
  3. Practice what you preach
    If you want to instill a habit in your child of sleeping early ensure you also follow it dedicatedly. Children easily follow what they see.
  4. Set up a reminder daily for the Habit formation
    It is very easy to forget something planned for in our daily routines however doing that particular pre-decided task for habit formation makes the child realize its importance and chances of building a habit become higher if it’s repeatedly done at a particular time.  
  5. Be Patient

Follow through for 21 days, although children catch on to good things really fast it’s best to practice daily. From a behavioral perspective a most commonly agreed timeline for creating a Habit.

Madhuri Kale
ACC from ICF | Creativity & Happiness Coach | Co-author-The Shakti Awakening |Storyteller & Puppeteer | Cultural Educator, The Culture Tree | Co-founder Magical Whispers
. www.madhurikale.com

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