My biggest struggle as a mom is making sure that I instill the right habits in my kids. This is so huge for me because as a person I have a hard time making myself do things besides the maybe good habits I have that I can’t go a day without doing. While I want to train my kids to have self-discipline, I also want to instill certain habits into them to make their lives easier when they’re grown.
As parents we are responsible for teaching are kids soo many things, like the list is ridiculously long, it’s easy to miss a few really important ones. Or if you’re anything like me, recognizing that your kid needs to get in the habit of something but because you don’t have that good habit you forget too. It is a never ending cycle. So if you’re that parent (don’t feel bad I am the worst at consistency) don’t feel bad. You’re here, which means you’re trying to better your kids, which means you’re also trying to be better, which is the best thing you can teach your kids anyway.
One thing that I have try to keep in mind as a mom is that it’s easier to make habits than to break them. I spend all day trying to correct bad habits I see in my kids (bad attitude, temper tantrums, talking back) that I forget to work on instilling good habits in them. Plus, there are so many more good habits to teach your kids, I bed you can think of a few more that are important to you to add to this list, but these are the ones that I am focusing on.
wake up early ~
Don’t get me wrong, I do this daily but not by choice. If I could stay in bed until nine every day I probably would. I wish I could get up at six and get right to work but like I said, I have no discipline. I would like to be able to make it a habit for my kids though, one they probably won’t appreciate as teenagers, because it’s useful as an adult. On days I get up past eight or nine I have no motivation to do anything and feel like I’ve already wasted so much of the day. I envy the moms who are able to get up and have some alone time before their kids are up running around because it will never, ever be me.
read every day ~
My mom would read to me every night before bed. I can remember laying in bed reading the Magic Treehouse series every night with her and my little sister. We were old enough to be able to read them on our own but there was just something nice about reading them together. As I got older we stopped reading together but I never stopped reading. This is one thing I am really looking forward to as my kids get older. We read two or three kids books every night before bed now but I’ve already been stocking up on my favorite childhood chapter books that we will all be able to read together. This is a habit that I’ve gotten out of since having kids but hopefully when they stop draining all of my energy (that day comes right??) I’ll be able to get back into it.
brush their teeth twice a day ~
I can’t leave the house or go to bed at night without brushing my teeth. Even as a kid I couldn’t walk out the door in the morning or crawl into bed at night without that minty fresh taste in my mouth. It will not only teach your kids proper hygiene but also instill a positive practice that’s often very tempting for kids to skip each night. Which will create the bad habit of them to skip brushing their teeth as an adult.
write thank you cards ~
I hated having to do this as a kid because I didn’t understand the importance of it. My mom would hound us until we wrote a thank you card when someone would give us a gift, even if it was weeks later. I think as a kid it was awkward because I didn’t write well and didn’t know what to say. As an adult I can’t not write a thank you card now. I feel awkward if I don’t. Having grateful kids is on my top ten important things to accomplish in parenting so this is huge for me.
wash their hands ~
It’s easy to want to wash your hands when you can see or feel something on them. But after you play outside, pet an animal, go to the bathroom, or sneeze you don’t see the germs left on your hands. This is important to teach kids because unless they see something, they won’t always understand why they need to wash their hands. You’ll be a happier mama too when your kids (and by extension, you) spend less time sick and miserable from all the germs that love to hang around.
say please and thank you ~
Not going to lie, I used to get so annoyed when I would ask for something as a kid and my mom would say “please” reminding me I needed to add it in at the end. But it worked. Now for the most part I instinctively add it to the end of whatever I’m asking for. And I find myself doing the exact same thing to my kids. It’s only reasonable that if we instill in our kids the importance of being thankful towards God and towards others that they be humble and learn to say please first.
start and end the day with a prayer ~
I remember praying at night with my mom when I was very little but that’s about it. We may think that our lives now are a stressful whirlwind but think back to when you were a kid and every day was a whirlwind, just with a lot less stress. It’s easy now to forget to start and end the day with a prayer but it’s essential to maintain constant communication with God and take the time each day to ground ourselves with Him. To instill this habit with our kids may be one of the most important as it provides the time to ask, thank, and confide in God each day, no matter how much of a whirlwind life becomes.