If you don’t already know it by now, bad habits in children can be hard to break. For this reason, you want to focus on teaching your kids good habits such as washing hands before meals and not picking their nose in public as early as you possibly can. As a parent, it is up to you to help form good habits that will help your children become respectful young adults in the future. Listed below are a few ways to help teach good habits to your kids.
• Model good habits. You kids will look for you as a model for how to act. Your bad habits can quickly rub off on them. Be sure that the habits you practice on a daily basis will be of good influence on your children. Unfortunately, the bad habits of parents often rub off on their children. Do you have bad habits that you need to break?
• Make it fun. Teaching good habits should be fun. For example, make a game out of washing hands before dinner time. Encourage your child to sing a song and dance in place while hand washing.
• Give rewards. During the times when you don’t have to remind your child to practice good habits, give small rewards. Allow him to place a sticker on a chart or give him a small treat to congratulate him.
• Provide opportunities for practice. Good behaviors such as being quiet in public places can easily be practiced. Take your child to the library or other “quiet” places so that he can practice his newly formed habit. Remember, practice makes perfect!
• Don’t let bad habits go unnoticed. Bad habits such as spitting should be always be corrected. Don’t let the behaviors go unnoticed. Be on your guard in an effort to deter bad habits.
• Make them aware of other’s bad habits. If there are habits that you don’t want your child to form, be sure to point those habits out in others. Smoking is a good example. When you and your child see someone smoking use it as an opportunity to explain why it isn’t good to smoke.
• Provide the proof. Don’t be afraid to go to the extreme when explaining why a habit is bad. Using the example of smoking above, provide your kids with proof of why the habit is bad.
• Bad habits are bad for their health. One example of the proof you can give is explain why certain habits are bad for their health. Smoking can cause you to have lung cancer and lung cancer kills people. Explain how bad habits such as smoking can negatively affect health.
• Encourage the teacher to get on board. If there are certain habits that you are trying to help your child overcome, don’t be afraid to get the support of his/her teacher and other people.
• Have the same rules and guideless regardless of where you go. Don’t waver in your opinion as to what habits are acceptable and which ones aren’t. Stick to your guns.
• Consequences for bad habits. If a bad habit persists, you must have consequences for the negative actions. How will you react?
• Teaching them good manners. A part of forming good habits is teaching your child good manners. Does your child have good manners?
• Don’t be afraid to take them places. Take your children places where they can learn good habits.
• Point out the good things. When your child portrays good habits, be sure to encourage them. Just as if you are pointing out the bad habits, be sure to point out the good habits in an effort to encourage and motivate.
• Find a mentor. Many times, parents want other people to look up to instead of parents. Who is your child’s mentor? Talk to the mentor about helping your child to form good habits. They will likely be more than willing to help.
If you are looking to teach your child good habits to help form good character, use the tips listed above to help. What your kids learn is up to you. What good habits will you choose to enforce in your home?