Something we focus on in our home are habits. We intentionally address a single habit and work together to form them in ourselves, each other and within our family as a whole. It is an important part of our family culture. I wanted to take a moment explaining how we do this, then discuss what we are working on as a family.
One at a Time
We don’t try to tackle everything at once. It is distracting and impossible. We pick one we will all work together one. We discuss the why, how, when, where and why with the kids and get everyone focused together.
Joyful & Encouraging
We try hard to be positive and excited about developing these habits. We are giving our kids (and ourselves) a priceless treasure by helping each other develop good habits that will serve us well the rest of our lives. This is NOT through punishment. We are developing discipline, but there are no punishments. Just consistent direction and diligence in dealing with it every single time.
The First Time
Through the development of habits we are consistently working on “the first time every time”. Which means through all this habit development we are simultaneously working on listening the first time someone asks us. We are far from perfect on this, but holding this expectation is developing wonderful things in the kids. I often will offer them the reminder “I am only going to say this once, so are you ready?” There are times where they miss my direction and I won’t repeat it, and the feeling of missing out often reminds them to listen more closely next time.
We are excited to inspire and encourage these good habits and we delight in them as they make everyone’s life easier in the end. The process is bringing us to a wonderful reward and that should be inspiring and exciting in and of itself. So we are excited for the wins. We hope to inspire our children by modeling the very habits we want them to develop with intentional actions and words.
All of this is developing me as a person and mother. I can’t be distracted or too busy, or I am missing the moments for habit development. It takes a lot of work in the beginning of a new habit. But when they become strong, it makes life for all of us so much easier. Now I simple have to say “Good habits…” for the kids to double check themselves and immediately correct course. The fruits of this labor will set them up for life – it isn’t a sprint. It is a marathon.
There is no beautifier of complexion, or form, or behavior, like the wish to scatter joy and not pain around us ‘Tis good to give a stranger a meal, or a night’s lodging. ‘Tis better to be hospitable to his good meaning and thought, and give courage to a companion. We must be as courteous to a man as we are to a picture, which we are willing to give the advantage of a good light.Ralph Waldo
This month we will be focusing on kindness. Think of a time when someone showed you kindness and the feeling is wonderful. Being homeschoolers, our children are used to spending all day every day together. Which means when we all show each other kindness, our days go well.
Kindness is multifaceted, there are so many moving pieces. Referencing one of my favorite habit development books, there are some key parts of kindness we will all be working on together:
- Think the best of other people
- Not assume others will mock our kindness
- Defend others’ character, even in their absence
- Respond kindly to your brother/sister, always
- We hold others’ happiness in our hands
- Kindness always trumps selfishness
Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.Mother Teresa
Some More Information
What habit will you be working on this month?