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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Habits - the good, the bad and the ugly

When I started thinking of habit training in some semblance of seriousness, the first thing I became aware of were my own habits and how they teach my children without my even knowing it.  Unfortunately by nature, children absorb and imitate it all. The good, the bad AND the ugly.  This is a scary thought.  

"Curious things, habits.  People themselves never know they had them." 
~Agatha Christie

A few habits we can teach or fail to teach pretty much solely by example:

Self discipline
Self control
Use of time

These are just a few that I'm either currently working on, or have worked on recently.  My friend Jeanne brought up one area of weakness in her painfully transparent post that I am sure many of us resonate with.  She made me think about my own habits anew.  This whole area can seem overwhelming... or challenging at best.  I think the study of habits, is a lifelong study that requires acknowledgment of and dependence on the Holy Spirit's role.  For practical purposes, it is in essence the study of a life of holiness.  

When thinking about habit training, I really like the book by Sonya Shafer, Laying Down the Rails.  She consolidates quotes from all 6 of CM's Original Homeschool Series into one book, organized by topic, along with practical illustrations and quotes from other sources including Scripture.  It is available in print or as an e-book, HERE.  It is an excellent resource to continually refer back to.

I like to concentrate on only a few habits at a time, but I still sometimes get overwhelmed by having myself to deal with as well as five children to keep up with. How about you?

What are your thoughts about habit training?  

Are you currently working on any specific habits; your own or your children's?

Some of my other posts on habits...


6intow said...

Habit training is definitely ongoing. We did a focus earlier this year on attentiveness, and it was very beneficial. I need to pick a new one to really focus on with my kids.

I was just thinking yesterday how good habits are so hard to establish and easy to break while bad habits seem so easy to slip into and so difficult to quit. That ever present sin nature I suppose.

Thanks for the reminder to take another look at this!

MarshaMarshaMarsha said...


we are constantly working on self-control-- ALL of us. this permeates so many aspects of our lives... in relationships, with our words, our hands, our reactions, use of our time...

much more is caught than taught for sure! yikes.

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