Good habits, and forming them early, is something that is incredibly important in intentional training of our children.
The mother who takes pains to endow her children with good habits secures for herself smooth and easy days; while she who lets their habits take care of themselves has a weary life of endless friction with the children. — Charlotte Mason
I love reading Charlotte Mason’s theories on educating children.
I have to be honest, we aren’t exclusive Charlotte Mason homeschoolers. However, in my family we do implement much of her theories into our homeschool room – not so much for the theory but it’s my natural way of teaching Sam (now I just happen to have a theory to go with it!). But I digress.
Habits, and forming good habits early, is something that is incredibly important in intentional training of our children.
There are the simple daily habits of brushing your teeth after you eat, tidying your room before you walk out, flushing the toilet and wiping the toilet seat (little boys!), washing your hands after playing outside, etc.
Many consider these habits chores for their children, and that’s okay, too. Whatever you call them, you’re beginning the process of instilling good habits into your children.
Then there are the good eating habits we need to teach our children. Each home has their own set of rules for this, and right now I won’t take time to dive in here. But it is our responsibility as parents to teach our children how to steward their health for the glory of God.
We all know bad habits are hard to break, so why not use the same logic with good habits and intentionally train our children in the nature of good habits!
Most habits we choose to oversee are merely matters of character and can be cultivated in everyday situations by example and practice.
Charlotte Mason recommended working on one habit at a time and concentrating on it for about four to six weeks, while remaining ever vigilant of already-formed habits.
You can find a method that works best for you. Right now I have a two-year-old so the only habit we’ve consistently worked on is obedience! I guess we take our habits two years at a time – I probably need to revisit this method. 😉
As we have begun our Fruit of the Spirit curriculum, I am finding more and more opportunities to organically talk about good habits.
No, I don’t actually use the word habit, but I know when I’m talking about kindness it’s a habit (aka, Fruit of the Spirit) … and we can then take this lesson a step further by implementing the gospel!
If you look at the list below, you’ll see how much of the habits are simply fruit produced from a life abiding in the vine of Christ!
Good Habits to Cultivate in Your Children
- Even Temper
- Perfect Execution
So as we emulate to our children what good habits (fruit bearing) looks like, we are instilling good habits into their lives!
As they grow and mature in the Word of God, we can talk more in depth about the importance of cleanliness for example. God is a God of order and beauty. We need to learn to steward our gifts (say the items in our bedroom?) with care and consideration, ordering our rooms in a way that brings glory to God.
And to do this in a way that pleases God, we must lean hard into the finished work of Jesus (yes, we even need Jesus’ help to clean our room!) and accept the help of the Spirit.
Get the idea? Right now for those of us in the toddler years, we’re laying a foundation for further conversation later. So don’t neglect good habits early because they are the foundation by which your children’s character will be built!
What habits are you working on with your children right now?
Want to share the Gospel with your toddler on a more regular basis? Want to start teaching biblical truths to your child but not sure where to start?
You’re not alone.
One week at a time, I will guide you through sharing the Gospel with your child through various Bible stories and learning opportunities.