Every parent wants their children to be awesome. I know I do. Now having three children I’m always thinking of ways to increase their knowledge about things and do things to build their character. Seems like a lot of reading on parenting and researching activities for them doesn’t it? There’s no need to get into all that, the secret to building good habits in your children is closer than you think…real close.
It’s YOU! Yup that’s right you are the key to building good habits in your children. If you think the same way I do then you’re thinking reading a ton of books on parenting is much easier than you being their key to good habits!
Having three kids you’d think I would have figured out this secret a while ago. And the truth is I did, I just didn’t realize it until I saw the outcome in my children. As the kids grow up I have been able to pick up on a lot of things I did right and a lot of things I need to improve in myself in order for them to get it right as well.
-If I stay in pajamas Isra feels no need to change.
-If I make dua before eating, then Isra makes dua before eating without me even reminding her.
You get the point.
Teaching secular studies from a book is easy, what’s hard is teaching children good habits and building good character, because all of that comes from home and is essentially a reflection of you. If you want your children to have awesome character and habits then so do you.
There was a time period where my husband and I were “screening” a lot whether it’d be on an iPhone or a laptop we were on the screen quite a bit. At times it would be just surfing looking for homeschooling stuff and other times it would be Pinterest. The kids would randomly come to my husband or I and ask if “they could do screens” (i.e. playing with the iPad or iPhone) I would look at them with a questioning face and would immediately say no. How could they ask and think about screens when there were so many other, productive things to do? And that night is when it clicked. My husband and I decided that we would keep screening to a minimal especially when the kids were awake, most if not all research and emailing would be done after the kids go to sleep or out of their sight if they were awake. Since we have done this the kids naturally ask to “screen” a lot less. By the way anyone coming out with a “Screen-Free” Parenting book soon?
Another way to build good habits in your kids is to have them join you in the things you wish for them to do. For an example, I’ve alway wanted my kids to love exercising and just being active. In the beginning I use to slowly sneak out of the house to go workout at the clubhouse gym while my husband watched the kids. I thought this would be good “me” time. Then I realized that I should take Isra with me so she is exposed to working out and the importance of it. She will eventually put together that no matter how busy Mama gets she takes time out to workout, and hopefully she will do the same. And this has turned out to be true, Isra loves to workout. She has to come to the gym with me whenever I go and we recently started doing morning yoga together at home before we start the day. I randomly even catch her doing walking lunges across the family room!
So instead of reading books or Googling topics on “How to teach your kids good habits” just take ten minutes out of your day and write a list of things you would like to see in your child. Then take a few moments to reflect on whether or not you do those things. If you don’t how will you implement these things in your life and how will you involve your child? Once you do that you’re on the road to awesomeness!
An excerpt from my list…
What traits/habits I want in children What I need to do
1. To love the Quran Recite Quran out loud in children’s presence
2. To be active Do morning yoga with the kids
3. Not be “screen” (computers/iphones) addicts Minimal emailing and surfing when kids are around
Alhumdulilah we are already doing two of the three things listed, and they have now become very natural to the point the kids do those things whether or not I ask them to!
And lastly, when you set the bar high for your children’s habits and character, when they have kids those high achievements will just seem normal and they will expect even more out of their children which means they will be awesomer. Don’t you want to leave behind an awesome generation?