Teaching the “Habits of Success”.
In my last article, I introduced the notion that success leaves clues and that children who thrive usually honor the success clues by other flourishing students.
The “Habits of Success” forms a clear and predictable pattern that creates a life of enjoyment and ease while automatically eliminating the struggle of what to do when.
In many ways, this is the magic formula. Instead of a focus on grades and more lectures about the importance of school, turn your attention to building the Habits of Success. This will be the most important role you can play outside of modeling a healthy set of habits yourself.
Here are my core principles for building these habits. If you follow these steps, it doesn’t mean your children will agree with you. Please don’t expect that. Instead, expect resistance and know that you will pay more attention to the results than to their protests.
Let’s Get Started.
1. Prepare for Success.
Have a school prep chat with your kids. Let them know that you’re going to be making some changes. There will be no long lectures or discussions. But instead, you are starting a new set of daily routines. These include: no more nagging or prodding or pushing from mom or dad. Your kids might begin to celebrate about now but it is wise for them to hold the applause. Yet, you’re committing to stop all that nagging and prodding that you may have used in the past.
After all, it was exhausting and frustrating, and worst of all things never got any better. Instead, you just ended up with more nagging and yelling and upsets. So from this point forward, none of that.
Instead…No no Goodies Till the Work is Done. This is the magic.
We often make the mistake of setting up life so that kids to enjoy all the goodies. For example toys, TV, computer, phone, playing ball, friends, video games, etc. before they do their homework and chores. This is a major mistake. Why? because we give up or leverage who wants to leave the fun stuff go back and do some work? No one!
So, we need to think differently and honor the “Habits of Success”. We will turn things around and make sure that their work is done before we give them access to the goodies they enjoy. We focus on controlling access to the goodies so that there’s no play unless the work is done.
This means that when your children get home from school you offer them an opportunity for a five or ten-minute break. After that, it’s time to do their homework and take care of some chores. This is essential. You explain that during this time there’s no TV, no video, no phone call, no going outside, no toys, no extended conversations with mom and dad, no friends over, nothing but taking care of homework and responsibilities.
In other words, you established a single fundamental ground rule that does not change. They must finish their work and only then can they play. Once you’ve enforced this magical rule, you can now start to relax a bit.
If you have more questions about how to create habits of success, you can learn all the details at BackToSchoolSecrets.com (no longer active – click here). However, these three points will get you started, and eliminate many of the mistakes that undermine success.
Best of luck!