Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What is The Benefit of Training in Habits?

"Sow an act, reap a habit.   
Sow a habit, reap a character.  
Sow a character, reap a destiny."
Charlotte Mason
Do you have a morning routine?  You know, one you do every day without thinking about it.  That is a habit.  Habits are the oil in the machinery of your day.  Your habits will either help or hinder as you navigate through life.  Good habits allow you to manage your time and tasks with little internal or outward disruption.  Bad habits hinder your efficiency, cause conflicts, and disorder. 

The prevailing thought today is that we should give our children choices so that they can make their own decisions.  It is thought that this empowers them with a sense of independence.  Charlotte Mason would disagree and so would I.  When you make a decision about anything you must stop and consider possibilities, pros, and cons.  Then you must make the decision, all requiring mental effort.  Imagine now that you had to make a decision about every single action or thought.  When should I get out of bed?  Should I put slippers on my feet or not to walk to the bathroom?  Should I shower first or brush my teeth?  What kind of toothpaste should I use? Very quickly I would be paralyzed by the process.  By the end of the day I would be exhausted by the constant mental effort.  Do we really want to do this to our children?  No!  Good habits will empower your children much more than giving them choices.

As part of my son's education, I spend time every week working toward the formation of good habits because these take work.  Anyone can form a bad habit as this is what our natures tend toward.  A bad habit formed makes forming the opposite good habit even harder.  So here is a list of some of the habits we have worked on the past and continue to perfect.

The Habit Of:
  • Attention
  • Thinking
  • Obedience
  • Courage
  • Perseverance
  • Telling the truth
  • Putting away your toys
  • Organization
  • Making your bed
  • Brushing your teeth

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