Investing Time to Create Change
Last week I talked about how emotions play a part in making a change.
The next step with building new habits is to practice the new habit over and over again, and starting up again even if they have skipped a week. Don't give up if they have not done the new habit; instead, encourage them to try again. Part of learning a new skill is to exercise resilience and keep going after a setback.
A great deal of scaffolding is usually required to help students make a change.
For example, you might want your child to use a planner. This will not happen overnight. At first, daily check-ins with your child are necessary to ensure they are using it. If they forgot to use it, don't reprimand or scold; instead, encourage them to use it the next day. Once they are using it consistently, do a check in every other day. If they backslide, go back to daily. Eventually, you'll be able to check in once a week or even less.
The key here is patience. Each student moves at their own speed, and the change may take much longer than you would like. The important piece is not to stop before they are ready. You wouldn't take the training wheels off of a bike before they are ready; the same applies here.
The investment is worth it, because once they have a better grasp on their emotions and are given the chance to practice, fail, and practice some more, they will likely shift their habits, and have learned valuable lessons about life along the way.