Developing Good Habits for Kids That Will Actually Stick

Ever wondered what to do if the healthy academic habits you are trying to encourage for your children aren’t taking hold? Here are Tutor Doctor tips for developing good habits for kids that will actually stick!

At Tutor Doctor, we believe that for students to stick to a routine effectively, three main components of learning and motivation are required. Here’s a breakdown of each!

1. Encouraging a growth mindset. When a student holds a growth mindset, it means they have faith in their ability to succeed through hard work and genuine effort. This is a core strength that students must have in order to experience academic success. When it comes to developing good habits, having a growth mindset is important because many of the essential routines we commit to do not yield immediate rewards – rather, they “pay off” in the future. This is especially important to keep in mind for academic routines that may not be seen as “fun” right off the bat – for instance, adhering to a strict 20 minutes per night studying habit. However, a student will be more likely to pursue good habits – even the less entertaining ones – if they understand these habits will help them down the road. To learn more information about why developing a growth mindset is so crucial for students, check out our blog on the subject here. One thing to keep in mind is that while establishing any routine, there are bound to be a few hiccups along the way. Which leads us to our next tip!

2. Seeing failure in a positive light. Plans don’t always work out the first time – and as we all know, sometimes it takes a few tries to get something right. If you’re trying to help your student establish healthy habits, let them know that it’s okay if they “slip up” once in a while. What’s more important is to learn from our setbacks in order to figure out what went wrong. By learning from our mistakes, we build resilience and problem-solving skills. So if your child seems to be having trouble settling into a new academic routine, let them know that it’s okay for them to make mistakes – over time, they will continue to improve until these habits become second nature! Check out our blog about seeing failure in a positive light for more great information on encouraging this mindset.

3. Forming intrinsic motivation. For your child to stick to any habit or routine, they need to be intrinsically motivated to do it – in other words, they have to want to make the commitment internally, and not because of any external factor. Extrinsic motivation can come in the form of external rewards (like prizes) as well as simple commands (“Do this because I say so”), but neither of these is as effective as true internal motivation. It’s the same for adults when making big lifestyle changes – there’s a much greater chance of being successful if the individual truly wants to make that change themselves (rather than being forced to do it by external factors). When it comes to kids, academic habits will be much easier to instill if your child is motivated by their own will. The same can be said about “breaking” bad academic habits! To learn more about the importance of intrinsic motivation, click here.