Habit Forming

Cross-posted by Cherry Blossoms The Blog.


Both of my boys have been thumb suckers although neither started their earthly life doing so.  Red has given up the habit but Blue continues to suck his thumb despite what he said last January about stopping this year.  I’ll admit that I enjoy the stopping-sucking-thumb process about as much as I enjoy potty training, but there are some good lessons to be found.

I’ve communicated my feelings with my children.  I want them to know that they are not bad people because of this “bad habit” and that they are not bad people when they slip up while trying to break the habit.  When they are on the other side and this is all over I tell them that I hope they have learned the following lessons:

1.  Habits are Powerful.  So choose wisely.  It was hard to break this thumb-sucking habit.  It took a long time and there was stress.  Some habits are good and some habits are bad.  Choose good habits and they will make you stronger, choosing bad habits will cause you greater difficulty down the road.  Habits are powerful, choose wisely.

2.  You are more powerful.  Just as with your thumb, there will be other habits that creep into your life that you may not want to continue.  Don’t get discouraged!  Don’t give up!  Just as it was hard but not impossible to stop sucking your thumb, it will be hard but not impossible to stop this other habit.  Pray for strength and ask your friends and family to help you through.  You are more powerful than this habit, you can stop.

Most of the goals and resolutions that I set for myself can be boiled down to creating new habits.  As I replace bad habits in my life with good habits I am becoming the person I want to be.  This year as you think about your new year’s resolutions pick a habit you would like to incorporate into your life that will make you stronger, better.  And if there’s a habit you’d like to eliminate, don’t give up, you can do it!

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