We normally do not add a second part to our posts, but I did to share. Only recently did I realize my wife and I taught our younger son good habits and wanted to share our strategies.
It wasn’t until I read Atomic Habits by James Clear and really observed my 13 teen year old, did I realize we had such a BIG parent victory!
How would you feel if your child:
- Came home and immediately did their homework without you asking
- Took a shower without a fight
- Put away their clothes instead of living out of a laundry basket
- Got their back pack and PE clothes ready the day before school instead of the morning of
Would your life be a little easier?
Might you avoid an argument with your child?
Here is how we did it without even knowing we were such “awesome” parents! LOL
HABITS: Building better habits is about making small changes over time until they become routine or in fact “habits.” Under standing habits and how they are formed is important. They are built on pleasure. Whether it is doing something because it makes you feel good or not doing something because you want to avoid something that makes you feel bad… both in one way or another result in feeling good. Sounds strange doesn’t it.
Think about it. People don’t smoke because they like smoking. The smoke for the initial feeling of stress relief when they first light up. As Tony Robbins one stated, people will do more to avoid pain than to see seek pleasure.
HOW WE HELPED OUR SON DEVELOP GOOD HABITS: Like a lot of kids, our younger son is a gamer. He knows we are not fond of it and has limited time each day. Probably like a lot of parents out there, we have had our share of arguments about it more frequently than not.
As you can imagine, the same argument was getting old. Together my wife and I decided if he was going to earn his time each day, our son had to do the following things:
- Play an organized sport for exercise. Going to the gym with dad was not going to cut it. He needed the benefits of being coached.
- Before he could play, he had to take his daily shower.
- Complete homework.
- Get his back pack and PE clothes together.
- Help with some basic chores.
After a month or two, our son realized the only way he was going to play on his computer, was if his list was completed. There were no exceptions and if it got too late, sorry, no computer.
Knowing my son is incredible smart and a strategist; he started taking care of all his responsibilities on his own. He knew if he asked for computer time, we would go down the list and see if he completed all his tasks. Don’t think we wouldn’t check behind him or try to trip him up too.
Fast forward months past those struggles and now he is an independent young man. He keeps us in check when he needs something and takes pride in getting his stuff ready.
So hang in there. It is not easy being a parent and knowing whether you are making the right choices are not. Best of luck!