The habits of the child
character of the man.
~ by Charlotte Mason
Even though I haven't been on here for the last few days, I haven't forgot about the 21 day challenge to a more discipline life. Between visitors, dance rehersals and appointments I really haven't had a chance to stop and read any more of the book. But I am happy to say I have continued with the discipline challenge. And what a difference it is making. Those simple steps of spending just 20minutes every night getting organised for the next day has made the world of difference, especially in this busy week. We have been out the door early every time, the house has stayed organised and we are all calmer. It is great.
This morning I finally had a chance for some quiet time before the girls woke (doesn't happen very often!). I read some more of the challenge. Today was all about habit training. When you really stop and think about it, being disciplined is really just about forming lots of little habits that you do every day without thinking. Think about some really simple tasks you do everyday…. brushing your teeth, brushing your hair…. you do these everyday without really thinking about it. Years and years of doing them every day have made them a habit.
Now think of your kids, espcially young kids. How many times do you have to remind them, or take them to do these two simple tasks. Most days…. everyday….. they haven't yet developed the habit of doing these tasks everyday. As a parent you need to remind them and help them daily to remember to do these tasks. In a few short years it will become habit for them and they will do it automatically just like you and me.
Have a think about what other tasks are habits for you….. making your morning coffee…… reading before bed…… watching certain TV shows…… how you put your socks on…… how you tie your shoelaces……. even they way you drive to the shops……. you often actually think about these tasks. You just do them and probably do them the same way every time. You have done it for so long that way that it has formed a habit. It is formed a set pathway in the brain to make it automatic. But that took time, doing it over and over again until you get to the point you where you don't need to think about it.
Being disciplined is about forming habits that you do everyday to make your life smooth and easy. You don't think about habits and it will come to a point where you don't need to think about being disciplined because it will be a habit (I'm looking forward to that day!). It means not having to think about putting your shoes away when you take them off, hanging the keys on the key holder, putting the dishes in the dishwasher rather than leaving them in the sink, packing books/toys away when finshed….. How great does that sound.
The one thing that really struck me this morning was about habit training our kids. Here I am trying to develop a more disciplined life, so why not take our girls along for the ride at the same time. Teaching them to live a disciplined life as a child sets them up for live a disciplined and productive life as an adult. It helps to build their character.
I'm not going to race in with a list a mile long of habits I want them to form. I am just going to take it one step at a time. It will take effort, it will take time, but just remember the goal of this challenge….. to live a more disciplined life.