Knowing we have a responsibility to help our kids develop good habits begs the question, which good habits?
The list of habits we can instill runs the gamut from regular toothbrushing to standing to the side when the elevator first opens. It is impossible for us to foster all good habits so we much choose the most effective ones that will have the greatest impact.
According to Paul O’Neill of Alcoa and others in Charles Duhigg’s book, The Power of Habit, in businesses there are certain keystone habits that can influence how people work, eat, play, live, spend, and communicate. Keystone habits can work the same in individuals. So which habits are keystone habits?
Keystone habits that research has shown trigger other good habits include:
- regular exercise
- eating dinner together as a family
- making your bed every morning
- eating breakfast
The above master habits can help people eat better, become more productive, show more patience, use credit cards less frequently, feel less stressed, have greater emotional control, and more confidence.
I’m betting to the above list we can add a few more such as:
- wearing sunscreen daily
- a behavioral pattern for handling and working through frustration and problem solving
- looking people in eye when talking to them
- maintaining an organized work area
- a habitual system for working on and tracking long-term projects as daily or weekly activities
What other important habits should we help our kids develop and how can we do so?