Man is a bundle of habits. Anything done often and repeatedly is called a habit. It is an acquired pattern of action which becomes easy and automatic because of repetition. The root of habit is practice and regularity. The more we repeat a habit, the more easy and permanent it becomes. We are bound to repeat a habit, because if we do not we feel uncomfortable and uneasy. This is called the force of habit. Thus, habits, once formed, are difficult to be removed. That is why the saying, ‘Old habits die hard’.
There are many forces which play an important role in forming habits. Early education, impressions, family member’s behaviour and lifestyle, association, etc. play big role to form habits. Gradually they get rooted in our nature. When one sees his family members following good habits like rise early in morning, maintain basic cleanliness, talking in decent way, finish own daily work in time etc ,then he follows these good habits spontaneously. Idleness, smoking, drinking, telling lies, flattery, gambling, cheating, stealing, spitting here and there are some of the major evil habits. Curiosity, routine and boredom also help in acquiring bad habits. One may start drinking or taking a drug just out of curiosity, or to have a little thrill and excitement at first, but rater may become a hardened drinker and drug-addict. Bad company generally leads innocent and good people into evil habits. One bad habit leads to another bad habit. Therefore, we should be very cautious in choosing company and friends.
Even good things become evil when done too often. For example, work is good. Hard and continuous work is necessary for success in life. But excess of work, beyond ones capacity, is harmful. It would soon start destroying health both mental and physical. That is why it is said, “Excess of everything is bad”. We should maintain a proper balance even in doing good things. All excess is dangerous and sinful whether it is work or rest, eating or enjoying life. We must attempt things according to our own strength, measure and capacity. We must always be on our guard against every type of excess, even that of good things.
“GOOD HABITS THAT HELP US TO LEAD GOOD LIFE “
Good habits go a long way in character formation. And it’s good to catch them when young.
1. Stay stuck to a routine
Sticking to a set routine goes a long way in making you well disciplined. Help yourself to ease into a routine right from early days.
2. Adopting a friendly attitude
Encourage your child to socialize with those around her and make friends among her peers. Forming friendships and maintaining them is an essential habit she will require for life.
3. Following a healthy lifestyle
Good eating habits, sleeping habits, physical exercise—all these contribute to your health. Let yourself adopt a lifestyle that will ensure you stay healthy.
4. Maintaining cleanliness
Stay clean always. Being neat, tidy, and orderly will de-clutter your mind and help you stay calm and focussed. Also extend this cleanliness to neighborhood. Maintain the habit to dispose of waste only in garbage bins in public places.
5. Following good personal hygiene habits
Brushing the teeth, bathing, washing the hands before and after eating, not picking the nose, closing the mouth while sneezing or coughing, washing the face, hands and feet immediately after entering the house—these are some of the points you could include when you train your child on hygiene as well as follow these in your daily life. Make your child realize that good hygiene contributes to good health.
6. Confiding in you
Encourage your child to speak freely to you on anything and everything. Let her share with you all that happened during the day. Encourage her to confide in you when something bothers her. This will prove especially helpful when she upset, hurt, afraid, confused, or angry.
7. Working hard
Show your child how to use time effectively. Let her learn the importance of hard work. Make her understand that a laid-back or lackadaisical attitude towards work will get her nowhere and you too follow all these properly.
8. Exhibiting good manners
‘Please’, ‘Sorry’ and ‘Thank you’—teach your child to use these words whenever required. Also, impart lessons on table manners, conversational etiquette, behavior in public, and so on.
Today’s materialistic world makes children selfish. Let your little one learn the habit of sharing what she has with others. This will make her conscious of the needs of others. When we elders will follow all these good habits properly then we can teach others also.
10. Extending courtesy
Explain to your child the importance of being kind and courteous. This habit will help her grow into a caring and helpful child.
11. Showing respect
Learning to show respect for herself and others is an important value your child must learn. Show her how to greet people, listen to another’s point of view, and stand up for herself.
12. Being honest
Encourage your child to be truthful. If you catch her lying, ask her to explain the situation, and help her think of a solution to undo the lie. And this teaching will be successful only when you are able to follow an honest path of life.
13. Helping others
Let your little one help you around the house. Give praise for the specific help she renders. She will be motivated to practice doing it often.
14. Having patience
A person must learn how to be patient. Show your child how to wait for his turn, to stop and think before he does something, to name his feelings of anger or frustration. This will help him regulate his emotions.
15. Making ‘reading’ a habit
This habit opens up the gateways of knowledge apart from serving as a healthy pastime. Let your child realize that books can be her best companions.
16. Saving money
Get your child a piggy bank and teach her to start saving. Make her realize its importance. Let her watch her savings grow over a period.
17. Conserving resources
Whether it is water or electricity, let your child learn to save these precious resources. Help your child learn to turn off the tap and lights when not in use. Make him understand that both natural and manmade resources need to be saved.
18. Limiting screen time
This is a valuable habit your child needs to learn early on. With the present generation of children growing up on gadgets, it is very difficult to wean them away from technology once they get hooked to it. Therefore, regulate the time your child spends on screens.
19. Being organized
Let your child learn to put back toys and books in their respective places once she is through with them. Teach her to keep her things in an orderly manner. Most of our time gets lost in searching for something or the other. Being organized will ensure your child does not have to waste her time in this manner.
You may also help your child learn these habits through stories, role-plays, or songs. But, the best way is by practicing them yourself. Remember the adage, ‘Practice what you preach’.