Good Habits – Teaching Personal Responsibility

How do you encourage good habit forming in your children? It’s not easy. There is a lot to it, both for the parent and the child.

Here are some things to help your kids learn good habits.
  1. Perspective
  2. Strong relationship
  3. Good agreements
  4. Real ownership
  5. Consistency

Here is #1 – Perspective

What do you see? What is the lens through which you see your children?

How you see the world creates your world. How you see your child(red) influences how you deal with them. Do you see problems or opportunity? How you interact with your kids will be different if you see their actions as lazy and disrespectful, as opposed to simply seeing missing skills and a chance to teach. It’s all opportunity… opportunity to lead by example and to help create new habits.

Sometimes we can let our minds get the best of us. We can get triggered by some dirty dishes left out or a backpack left on the ground. We can see it as an affront to us. We can interpret it as our kids sending the message that they do not appreciate us and all that we do. They are not sending this message. This is not the motive behind their actions. When we think like this, it is something we create in our own mind. Labeling children is not helpful, it builds resentment and stress.

So, be aware of what you are sensitive to (your triggers) and take ownership of them. Give your child the benefit of the doubt. The minute we start taking things personally, we lose our ability to teach effectively. As parents, we can catastrophize. “If I don’t teach this lesson now, my kids are done for. If they don’t learn this lesson now, they are going to end up living in a van down by the river”. This adds undue stress.

Parenting is a long game. Breathe. Quick stern actions might feel like the right thing to do, but they can lead to impulsive and punitive actions that actually get in the way of skill building and a trusting relationship.

Your perspective creates a self fulfilling prophecy. If you see your children as helpful, capable, and able to learn new habits, they will live into this.

A positive perspective will allow you to remain focused and composed. Composure and focus are the foundation to connected and effective parenting and teaching.

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#2 “Strong Relationship” coming soon!

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