Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Habits part 2

I also pulled this from my previous blog. Sorry I didn’t get this posted until now. Life called. And I answered.

This is a quote from Miss Charlotte Mason: "Habit the Instrument by which Parents work.--'Habit is TEN natures!' If I could but make others see with my eyes how much this saying should mean to the educator! How habit, in the hands of the mother, is as his wheel to the potter, his knife to the carver--the instrument by means of which she turns out the design she has already conceived in her brain.”

That’s a powerful statement! If we as mothers, and teachers, (dads too), could train the right habits into our children and students, think of the kind of world we’d have.

You might ask, “How can I change a habit of someone else?”

1) Are you, yourself a good model of the habit or trait you want to instill? Perfection isn’t what I’m referring to, but can you do it without any effort, is the question. If not start with you first. How can you teach something you don’t practice yourself? It won’t work.

2) When you’re ready, discuss with your student/child what is expected. Not in a harsh or authoritative way, but with an expectation that what you say will be done.

3) This is the hardest part for me. Consistency! If the child forgets or strays, gently remind him what is to be done. Always speak with a sense of expectation, that it will be done. Approaching it this way makes you the friend rather than the dictator.

This is what Miss Mason said about this step: "...the mother must devote herself for a few weeks to this cure as steadily and untiringly as she would to the nursing of her child through measles. Having in a few--the fewer the better--earnest words pointed out the miseries that must arise from this fault, and the duty of overcoming it, and having so got the (sadly feeble) will of the child on the side of right-doing, she simply sees that for weeks together the fault does not recur."

Miss Mason warns of the one fatal mistake often made. Inconsistency. If a person is progressing in the new habit, the teacher/parent thinks they’ll "just this once" overlook a slip up. This is deadly to the process. This is the time when the new habit is forming in the brain. Think back to the first post; the neural pathways. The “Just this once" mentality will prevent the habit from being established. Stay the course and your child/student will soon effortlessly perform the new habit.
Have a blessed day!:0)

1 comment:

  1. The DH and I are creatures of habit. We watch the same shows usually, go to the same restaurants, go to bed around the same time, etc.

    We have no children, but even our dog, Rascal, has her habits. Her funniest one is going by one of the window wells in the backyard and just staring into it. It's part of her routine almost every time she goes out.

    Morgan Mandel