Ready! Cue! Action! - Effortlessly Change Children's Habits

As a parent, we often say the following:

  • Stop it! That is a bad habit!

  • Keep doing it for 47 days. Then you will obtain the good habit!

Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken - Warren Buffett

We understand the importance of forming good habits because habit governs more than 80% of our daily activities. Do children understand that?

No, children do not understand; again, children do not understand. Period.

Why?


If children have bad habits, don’t blame them, blame us. Blame the adults who have control over the children’s environment but do not put effort into providing good cues for the encouragement of good habits. The cues can be many things in the house: a painting from a famous painter, classical music in the morning, the people walking around in the house, topics being discussed at the dinner table, certain actions being seen often in the house, and more. They are all examples of cues in the children’s environment; a cue is seen and heard anywhere in the environment.

It's hard to change habits, but a gentle push can move us in the right direction. This episode, TED speakers offer deceptively simple "nudges" for managing our kids, our health, and our aspirations. - Ted Radio Hour: Nudge

According to Ted Radio Hour: Nudge, the easiest way to influence people’s behavior is to make the action seem seamless and the most reasonable to do at the moment.

For example: