Today I’m sharing a few ideas that you can use to teach your kids good habits. Now, I’m a huge fan of charts, but really, they aren’t needed to instill good habits and a sense of responsibility in your children. So, if you’ve been struggling and wondering how to teach good habits without charts to your children, keep reading!
How to Teach Good Habits without Charts
I think we can all agree that our desire for our children is that they grow into kind, healthy, well rounded adults. But how do we, as mothers, accomplish that? We diligently work to teach our children good habits but sometimes our charts and graphs of expected behaviors aren’t as beneficial for our children as they are for us. As I’ve raised my own children, for years we’ve used charts and they’ve worked really well.
The Bible tells us that we are to teach our children diligently. Teaching your children good habits is a huge responsibility!
“You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” Deuteronomy 6:7
Teaching good habits is about more than just checking off a list of required tasks and behaviors. We want to instill good habits in our children that will last a lifetime – habits that are part of their character and habits that they will take with them when they leave home.
Here are five ways to teach good habits without using charts that might help you and your children as they grow.
Bad habits are hard to break. If you’ve realized that your child has not developed good habits in some areas, it’s time to change how you do things!
Make the expected behavior or habit clear from the very beginning. Instead of trying to teach five or six good habits all at once, space them out and focus on one habit per week or month. Once one habit is established move on to another focus. Creating routines is also a good way to teach your child good habits.
When you see your child making their bed in the morning without being asked, celebrate with them. Say something like, “I’m so proud of you for remembering to make your bed this morning” or “I love how responsible you are becoming”. When big milestones are reached rejoice even more with a special treat like a Potty Trained Party or a trip to the bookstore to celebrate reading 100 books over the summer.
Praising your children for working on and developing good habits will create a sense of pride for a job well done and encourage them to continue making good choices.
I’ll be honest. I’ve never given my kids an allowance. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give allowances wisely. I just have always expected my children to contribute because they are part of the family unit. We do however pay them for extra jobs.
If you decide to give an allowance, let your children know how much their total allowance will be if they do everything expected of them that week. For each missed habit take away a penny, nickel, or dime. On Friday afternoon they receive what’s left. This is a good technique to use for older children who clearly know what is expected of them.
Set a Good Example
Our children are always watching us. So if you want your son to eat more vegetables he needs to see you eating plenty of veggies too. If the goal is to get your kids off the couch, that means you need to get off the couch too. Setting goals with your children and achieving them together can be fun.
There’s no one in this world your child watches more than you. Show them what it means to follow God, be kind, work hard, and have integrity. Practice your own good habits and you’ll see your children following your example.
related: Child Training
Rewards and Punch Cards
You will need a way to keep track of this one, so that could be a little chart-like, but don’t tune me out yet. Track good habits in your children for X amount of time and once they have consistently practiced a specific habit for Y number of weeks give them a special privilege. Ideas: staying up late to watch a movie with Mom and Dad, a special sleepover at Grandma’s, a longed for toy, or a daddy daughter date to get ice cream.
Reward Punch cards are a great way to keep track of those good habits! You can purchase my Reward Punch Cards, and others