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3 simple ways to help children make daily habits stick

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When your child's routine is disrupted, it is easy to see how it affects their focus, mental fatigue, and behaviour. Establishing habits around daily tasks is a positive practice that forms the foundation of success. The new year is the perfect time to help your child build habits that soon become second nature. Read on to learn about these 3 effective techniques to help your child establish great daily habits to set their year up well.

1. Reminder

One of the best ways to get your child to form a daily habit is through reminders, as a trigger for the thought process is needed to take the required action. However, you don’t want to feel like you are nagging your child constantly, so setting alarms or visual reminders can work effectively. Visual charts on the fridge or in the bathroom can be a great prompt to assist your child to remember what actions they need to take. You could try a checklist, or a habit tracker chart such as these printables, which have daily boxes to colour in when the action is completed. You will probably find that you need to remind your child at the beginning to set off the process until they’re used to the visual reminders instead.

2. Routine

Building a routine around the habits and actions you want your child to follow will help them to remember to do it. This could be a ready-for-school morning routine where you expect your child to get dressed, have breakfast, brush their teeth, and hair, and get their school bag ready at the door. You can make this fun by printing pictures to create a visual timetable, such as a picture of a t-shirt saying “get dressed’, and pictures of an apple, toothbrush, hairbrush and bag, then display the timetable so they can follow the guide. This ensures that your children know exactly what they’re expected to do. You can help them by practising the routine together so you know they are capable. You can find more in-depth advice about habit building in our blog.

3. Reward

Rewarding good behaviour with something small but meaningful is one of the best ways of making habits stick with children. A small reward could be praise, a high five or extra time playing outside. Sometimes even doing the new routine can become rewarding. For example, if part of their after-school routine is to practise the piano, as they improve they are likely to enjoy the intrinsic reward of practising more and therefore enjoy this daily habit. Or you could put in place a reward system to encourage your child to develop daily habits without the need for praise every single time. You can create a reward system around their habit tracker and when an action is filled in for a whole month, have a pre-planned fun activity or outing together. Check out some activity ideas here for more inspiration.

Habits are important in our daily lives and to set strong fundamentals for success, but making sure these everyday habits stick is the real key to learning. Through putting in place reminders, establishing positive routines and incorporating rewards - you can set your child up for the year. At NumberWorks’nWords, our expert tutors help young learners achieve their academic goals through the development of good learning habits and modelling positive behaviour in a nurturing environment that celebrates success. Get in touch to learn more about our maths and English tutoring, or contact your local centre and book a free assessment!

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