Creative Child

Start the New Year by Instilling these Good Habits in Your Child

by Deborah Song

We are the sum of our habits. The habits that our kids develop will determine who they become. The good habits you instill now, have the potential to change your child’s life. Here are 10 simple, yet impactful habits you can instill in your child this year. 

1. Make your bed each morning.  If you want to be successful, you should make your bed in the morning, says Bill McRaven, a retired Navy SEAL commander and The best-selling author of Make Your Bed. By starting off the day accomplishing a small task, your child will learn to start each day with a sense of accomplishment. 

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2. Teach your child to attempt failure each day. Failure has had a healthy makeover lately. Most students have been taught that failure is the best way to learn, for instance. But the perspective on failure I find most helpful is the one J.K. Rowling gave to a graduating class at Harvard. 

“You might never fail on the scale that I did,” said the once near-homeless mom, “but some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something. Unless you live so cautiously that you might as well have not lived at all. In which case you fail by default.”

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Failure is proof that you’re doing something right. When your child fails at something, it shows your child was trying and taking risks. So encourage failure by celebrate it. Ask your child each day how he failed or what challenge he attempted. Then celebrate his bravery. 

3. Give your child a responsibility. Whether you’re child is responsible for feeding the goldfish, or emptying the trash in his room, or turning off the nightlight each morning, or reading to a younger sibling, explain why the task you’ve assigned is important and make your child responsible for something. Responsibilities have a way of empowering your child, but it also shows your child he is an important member of the family. Being needed is sometimes as good a feeling as being wanted.

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