Habit Training in Times of Transition

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  • MamaSnow

    How do you handle habit training in times of transition?   There is part of me that feels like this is a time to give more grace and maybe let some things go “until things settle down”.  But at the same time, there are certain behaviors that I don’t want to allow to become ingrained.  My children are all quite young still – 5-1/2, almost 3, just turned 1 -so in the midst of those prime ‘early years’ for the formation of good habits.   And then there is also the fact that in our current situation, we are pretty much living in a constant state of transition for this year (we are missionaries on furlough and travelling/visiting a lot of different people and places) and possibly into next year as well since we are considering taking an assignment in a new location after furlough rather than returning to where we lived before.   So transition is more of a semi-permanent feature of our lives – not just something we are going through for a couple of weeks.   I’ve been thinking and praying about how to handle this and thought I’d see what wisdom you all might be able to share. Smile




    Jen I will speak to how we have handled transitions – 10 in 7 years including 5 states.  We started our moving stints when my oldest was a baby so now I have a 7 and 5 yo.  It is NEARLY impossible to keep a consistent routine when you are not in the same place more than a few days or weeks at a time.  For one 6 week stint we spent 6 weeks in 6 different locations – CRAZY!!!  I do not think that even in a year things will become ingrained that can’t be changed especially if you remind the kids – this is a season.  I have picked a few things and fought hard to make those things happen.  Your children are young enough that I am assuming they are still spending most of their days playing.  Here are some things that I fought for:

    1. Naps – this is hard but my kids can’t help that we are out of sorts and them not napping is not fair to them.  To expect them to be happy and obedient I can’t exasperate them.

    2. Days at home – we have always taught our kids that home is where we are.  Sad but it is our life.  So we don’t try to get out and go every day.  We try to spend days at home or if that current home is not conducive to the kids I would take them to a park or indoor play area and sit for hours and let them play and just be.  They couldn’t handle being dragged somewhere every day with the expectation to “be good”

    3. Consistent Bedtime – with time with mom and dad (reading, prayers, etc.)

    These were the things I have come to learn help my kids not to be exasperated during times of transition.  If their little bodies stay rested and they have opportunities to just be regularly then I have found they are more likely to be obedient and happy.  So for me it has been more about protecting their physical and emotional well being in a hope to keep a level of normalcy so that the things we have trained them in will continue.  I hope this makes sense. 

    Lots and lots of grace as well

    Hope it helps



    Life is always changing, children are always moving to new ages/stages, and nothing stays settled in exactly the same pattern for long.  I say keep up with habit training.  You want to teach your children to have good habits no matter the situation.  There are no excuses to have bad habits.  Letting things slide is doing a disservice to your children. 

     Also, perhaps, you need that habit training as much or more than they do? I’m saying this in all love, so please do not be offended.  Just because it would be easier on you to let things slide does not mean it is the right thing to do.  Remember Charlotte’s “I will…” use your will to do the things you don’t want to, like maintaining habit training at all times and in all places. No matter where you are the “rules” for proper behavior should not change. 

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