Teach children to develop good habits

Teach children to develop good habits

Everyday habits lead to everyday success.

Recently, while driving down a country road, we encountered the contents of a woman’s purse strewn over both sides of the road. Fortunately, we were able to gather everything and return it to the owner. The purse had slid off the top of the car as she pulled out of the driveway. Fortunately, no one who wanted to steal her identity found her stuff. Unfortunately, her electronic device was crushed.

My husband once had a similar experience with an organizer left on the top of the car. He had traveled a couple of miles from home before a turn onto the freeway sent the organizer to the berm. The gentleman who found it thought it was a small tool case. When he opened it, he found our home phone number and called me. The contents were fine, but the organizer was trashed.

In both cases, trouble, thankfully minor here, could have been avoided if those involved had made it a habit to never put anything on top of the car.

Sometimes it’s the simple habits executed every day that make things run smoothly and avoid trouble.

One of my rules is to never have an open cup on my desk. Yep, you guessed it. I ruined a keyboard with a cup of tea once. Now I use a sealed thermos cup or simply put the cup on the cabinet behind me.

Ever lost your keys or scrambled looking for a family member’s? Of course this usually happens when someone is in a hurry. The habit of always putting the keys in the same place every time eliminates this problem. My in-laws used a board with hooks on the wall. I have a particular pocket in my purse.

Similarly, it helps to always put your wallet, purse, company ID and such in the same place every time you come into the house.

It has long been a practice at our house to wash our hands as soon as we arrive home. I hate to be slowed down by colds and tend to have trouble shaking off a cough, so this habit has been good for my health.

Household habits like preparing the coffee pot the night before and making sure all dishes are washed, dried and put away before bed make for a smoother morning.

Do you rush around in the morning choosing what to wear or finding something suitable for your child? Develop the habit of selecting and preparing outfits the night before or days in advance.

Put things back where you found them. My grandfather repeated this adamantly. Of course, this presumes they were in the right place to start with. But many projects go more easily when the tools are in the proper place, the stapler is on the desk and the cooking thermometer resides in its place.

As you develop good habits, teach your children to do the same. They will avoid trouble by carrying those habits with them through life.

Look for things you struggle with or that have caused you problems. Is there a habit you could develop to eliminate the trouble? If you have several, write a list and work on items one at a time. Soon things will flow more smoothly.

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