A part of good leadership is teaching good habits. So, part of being a dad is teaching my kids good habits. As I have been thinking about this, these are the first two habits that I want to work on teaching them.
- Think through outcomes. Granted, this is hard to teach a small child (or an adult for that matter), but this habit is so important that I have to start here. My kids need to understand that there is an outcome (result) from their actions. I am teaching them the habit of thinking through outcomes by asking them, “where is this going to lead?” So when they are melting down, I ask, “where is this going to lead?” When they are working hard on homework I ask, “where is this going to lead?” If my kids can just begin to consider that question from time to time, it will be a huge win!
- Stay ahead of work, not behind it. This habit falls under the “clean your room” category. I want my kids to clean their room, but I want much more than that for them. I want them to think proactively so that they can stay ahead of things. I’m going to make my kids clean their room anyway; the work will be done, the question is, will it be at the expense of something fun or will it be done ahead of time. Training this as a habit is tough, and I’m honestly not sure of the best way to go about it yet. But, to start with, I’ll be just talking to my kids about the value of getting something done now so that you don’t have to worry about it later. I will be making my training ground for this the kitchen and living room, having the kids bring those rooms back to being 100% clean each day (with a little help) so that as a family we are staying ahead of the housework and not behind it.
If I’m honest, these habits are just as much for me as they are for them. If I think through outcomes, it will change the way that I work and the tasks I focus on today. If I stay ahead of my work, everyone in my life will be happier. I hope I can improve on these habits and impart them to my kids as well.