Habits are repeated patterns that an individual performs daily. It is more like a fixed way of thinking, willing, or feeling acquired through previous repetition of a mental experience. Old habits are hard to break and new habits are hard to form because the character patterns which humans repeat become imprinted in the brain, but it is possible to form new habits through repetition.

Daniel hates dusting his shoes. When he gets off the bus, he will just walk straight to his room without dusting off the mud from his shoe. His mom has been complaining but it has already become a habit for Daniel. The question now is how did it start?

Habits are formed, and it occurs through a defined process which is; the cue, the behavior, and the reward. The cue is the thing that causes the habit to come about, the trigger of the habitual behavior. This could be anything that one’s mind associates with that habit and one will automatically let a habit come to the surface. The behavior is the actual habit that one exhibits, and the reward, a positive feeling, therefore continues the “habit loop


When a child develops a habit, it is important to pay attention so as to know if that habit is a good or bad one. If it is a good habit, the child should be encouraged and even praised to keep it up. But in the case of bad habits, some steps should be taken:

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  • Know how bad it is.

Is the habit just annoying or is it harmful? If your child continues with this habit, will it make him look odd in the eyes of others? When find the intensity of the habit, you move to the next.

  • What is the trigger?

Does the child exhibit this habit when he/she is nervous, happy, angry or trying to be stubborn? Finding out what causes the habit will make it easier to stop it.

  • Find a better habit

Since habits cannot be just destroyed, they should be replaced with something better. Find better habits to replace the bad one’s with and communicate it to your child.

  • Remind them gently

Remember that habit formation in the first place is a process and therefore, do not use force when reminding them about the habits.

  • Give rewards

When the child gets it correctly, do not hesitate to reward the child even with praises. It will encourage the child to do better.

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