2012 – A Year of Intentional Habit Building For Kids; 12 Habits Intro

:: Thanks for visiting! Please note, all progress on our year of intentional habit building for kids can be read here. Thanks to all who have been such an encouragement through this journey!::

Building Habits

2012 is going to be a year where we as a family focus on 12 different habits, one per month. I use the term habit loosely. A lot of the habits we are going to focus on are virtues, but they are virtues we want to build in our sons {and ourselves!}

This idea has been building in my mind for a while now, and after much prayer and with the help and wisdom of other mothers who are going through the raising of littles or who have passed through the little stage we have decided to embark on a year of intentional habit building with my boys.

The 12 Habits

While this list is subject to change as we see fit, we have planned out the 12 habits for 2012 as follows:

January – Thankfulness
February – Self discipline
March – Friendship
April – Responsibility
May – Compassion
June – Courage
July – Honesty
August – Loyalty
September – Planning
October – Work
November – Perseverance
December – Being Sincere

Each of these habits will have a specific focus each month. The premise is that if we enjoy this year of intentional habit building then we will repeat the above habits each year, with each specific focus being changed yearly as the boys grow, mature and needs change.

The Plan for Building Habits

Again, this is subject to tweaking – or revamping entirely – but the plan for intentionally working on each monthly habit is as follows, on a rotating 7 day cycle:

1. Talk about the habit, people we know with the habit, how it is a useful habit, discuss the weekly plan.

2. Do a fun activity related to the habit to grab their attention, reinforce the idea of the habit and keep them excited.

3. Devote a good deal of read aloud time to reading stories highlighting the habit.

4. Play a game – or do role playing – related to the habit.

5. Do something for someone else – find a way to make the habit practical and serviceable.

6. Read verses and/or Bible stories related to the habit.

7. Do an object lesson that highlights the habit.

Resources and Aids for Encouraging Habit Building

By the end of this year I am sure this list will have grown, but I wanted to include the few resources I know I’ll be using in case you’d like to use them too.

The Book of Virtues by William J Bennett

Everyday Graces: Child’s Book Of Good Manners by Karen Santorum

These two books have been in my collection for some time now and we have enjoyed reading stories from them. They are collections of shorter stories, poems or excerpts from longer books neatly categorized.
I’ll be using them each month to read stories pertaining to the monthly habit.

Blogging about the 12 Habits

I plan to blog about each habit at the beginning of the month to give you a run down on what the specific plan is for that month and then at the end of the month to update on how things went. Throughout the month I will share activities, books and other ideas we have used in our pursuit of intentionally building the habits.

I want to keep an online record of this to keep myself accountable and on track with our plans. All of the posts related to this subject of intentional habit building for kids can easily be found by clicking the button, as seen below, which will be on the sidebar to the right.

January’s habit with the specific focus and detailed daily plan will be posted January 2. I am so excited to get this started and hope you will follow along and chime in!

My friend Chelsea is planning on doing this with her kids and blogging about it at months end too.

Jessica Lynette

8 Comments

  1. I love this idea! I will definately be following the series and working on these things in our family as well.

    • I look forward to hearing updates from you too!

      Wanna know something funny?! I DREAMED about you last night. And you had no face – you just looked exactly like the little face-less person beside your comment. And your name was "Momofthree" and everyone was calling you that like it was a normal name 😉 It was very random!

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