I promised a check-in with how it’s going in our home as we “lay down the rails” of new habits. So here’s what we’ve been doing the past couple weeks, and I’m happy to report…I think it’s working!
I wrote this quote on our chalkboard door, leaving a space beside “Habit of the Month” where I added “obedience”.
That visual reminder has been essential for me to remember to follow-through more consistently. Here’s an example of what it’s looked like…
The deal is that if I ask them to do something and they answer with anything but, “yes Mom” I respond with, “Would you like to try that again?”
That’s the one and only “chance”, and if they don’t then say “yes Mom, I’m on it” AND move their bodies in the right direction, there’s a consequence. For us, that most often looks like loss of their 15 min day computer game time, or an extra chore. 15-30 min of scrubbing cupboard fronts or baseboards is my easy go-to chore that can be done by almost any age. But anything that interferes with their own free time works great! Gathering firewood, pulling weeds, sweeping outside decks, hauling mulch to our garden are all extra jobs that I use as needed. You don’t want one that they can do without a lot of direction, or that might create more work for you later!
I’m realizing more & more that I’m the one who needs the habits reinforced! I can get just as distracted as my kids, so I’m finding whatever helps ME to be consistent is way more likely to give the best results for the family. Visual cues are really key for me.
And the good news? The little nudge to make this a priority is working! I’m seeing my kids getting down to their jobs less reluctantly, getting ready faster and wandering away from unfinished jobs less often. It’s not perfect, but it’s getting better. Oh yeah!
What new habits do you want to add to your family’s life as we gear up for back-to-school? What works for you?