When we get kids into good habits, small tasks get done with less effort and nagging. Making their bed, feeding pets, unloading dishwasher etc. It not only reduces the amount of nagging needed, strengthens their self-discipline, but it also shares the workload.
They learn to help, you don’t have to do it all.
Getting kids into good habits is as much a lesson for us as parents. We need to be in healthy habits ourselves, we model what we want them to do.
It’s pretty simple to create habits, but it’s not always easy.
Like a lot of things, it takes self-discipline to enforce self-discipline. This is where the work is for me because I don’t always want to do it.
THE 80/20 RULE
In all honesty, I haven’t always followed through every single time things need to get done, but it hasn’t really changed the effects of the work I have done when I AM self-disciplined.
If I have followed through 80% of the time, the other 20% often works out too.
MAKE SURE THERE IS A GOOD REASON FOR THE TASK
I think one of the biggest reasons I have had good success is because I have always worked really hard to communicate WHY I want them to do whatever it is I’m asking of them. When they understand why you’re teaching them a particular task, and if it’s reasonable for you to expect them to do it, there is often less resistance.
This doesn’t always mean they agree the job is important, it won’t change the fact they have to do it, but it will help when they are left to do it on their own.
CREATE HABITS FOR DAILY TASKS
The first things I try to develop habits in;
Personal hygiene, eg showering, brushing their teeth
Put their washing out each night
Opening curtains/windows in the morning
Make their bed
Daily chores like feeding pets
Unpacking school bag/lunchbox
Ready for school the night before
Getting homework completed on time