Last night for Family Home Evening, I realized I needed to share why I am asking our children to do 4 same things every morning for the past year. Often they get annoyed with me and yet they don't accomplish these tasks unless I've asked. But maybe that has changed...once we talked about good vs bad habits and the consequences of both, I think my 3 bright and lively children came to understand that it's a good habit I am trying to instill within them so as they leave home they might have numerous good habits to take with them.
This morning I and Gove came home from an early session at the temple and the kids had announced that they had performed their good habits and put the dishes away as is expected of them each day. Hey, this is a right step. Today I mentioned a habit I wanted to change about myself and they seemed more receptive to talking about choices and how the decisions we make build habits. Mattia actually changed her actions when I mentioned that she was creating a negative habit and she just stopped! Sometimes I ask until I express my own bad habits but not today.
This talk about habits had me thinking about Little Lord Fauntleroy and Pollyanna. It is the teaching of habits that started both of these characters to find the good and the glad for every situation. Being happy is not a natural habit I have created for myself. I have created the habit of seeing the negative before the positive and I want to change to a glad heart. Besides, God said, 'man is that he might have joy' I want joy too. My negative habits have taken root so deeply I may need a chain saw. It's hope that I am hearing when reading these stories to the children. Tomorrow I will mention Pollyanna's good habit and relate that to Fauntleroy's habit of seeing the good in life. Granted they are children but I think children have it right. Choosing to see the good puts new light on ones life. And it feels swell.
I think I can use my One Minute Goals to help me with development of my habits as well. I am happy today because I have a good attitude. This does feel nice to say to myself. I really can improve. I am grateful to my Lord and Savior for these thoughts, feelings, and hope.
Here is a link to the writings of Charlotte Mason's teachings, including 'Habit is Ten Natures' (vol. 1 pg.97 ) www.amblesideonline.org/CM/toc.html