I recently read a Clariity blog post titled Forming Habits in Our Children. I have read a few posts by this author, and I love the ideas she presents.
As a result of reading this article, we have begun habit training at the Farley Funhouse. The first habit I have begun to address is listening to Mommy and Daddy. Specifically, listening and responding whem Mommy or Daddy say "stop". Our little princess loves the wheelchair ramp at church that leads from the fellowship hall upstairs to the classrooms downstairs. She loves to wander away when we are in the fellowship hall, and she makes it halfway down the rather long ramp before one of us can catch her. At a get-together at the church Saturday night, I practiced "Princess, stop" with her. When she listened, we had a little clapping and hugging party. When she didn't, we had a "talk" about Princess listening to Mommy.
Sunday we repeated the training. 9 times out of 10, she obeyed by stopping immediately and clapping for herself. She sees this as a fun game right now, but I am convinced that with repeated practice and training, this will develop into a habit. I feel this is an important first habit to teach, because it involves safety. She needs to learn to listen to "Princess, stop" regardless of the circumstances, because she is too young to understand the difference between running away from Mommy at a safe place like church and running away from Mommy at an unknown place like the mall.
I encourage you to read this article and consider what the author has to say. Forming habits is going to take a lot of work...but I am convinced it will pay off in the long run.