The One Habit You Want Your Kids To Have

Is it every parent’s dream that their kids make their own beds in the morning?

It’s shockingly not a habit only missing in kids.  Most adults would rather not – and often don’t – make their beds in the morning.

But does it even matter?

It seems so trivial and insignificant.  There are so many bigger things to do in life.  So it seems.

But believe it or not, there’s a funny quirk to this little habit:  Making your bed in the morning can be the secret factor to having an amazing day.

And for your kids, it’s one key habit that lays the foundation for all future good habits.

I know.  So dramatic.  But if there’s a chance this 2-minute habit can change your kid’s life, wouldn’t you want to try it out?

Here’s how and why you’d want to teach your kids about the power of making their bed.

Create an intention (aka a goal) and accomplish it

What could possibly motivate a kid to make the bed?  There’s nothing fun about it.

That’s where you come in.  Most kids don’t actively create goals for themselves.  But you can.  It’s a simple decision and conversation:  “Let’s make your bed every morning.”

There will surely be kickback.  But this is the first taste of real life:  Somethings we need to do, most things we don’t want to do, but in the end we’ve got to the do them.

This tiny beginning life-lesson is a perfect place for kids to develop a sense of responsibility.

When you start out, you may have to make the bed together for a few days (um, or weeks?!?!).

But every time it’s done, you must acknowledge that it’s DONE. 

By setting the goal, doing it, and celebrating that the goal has been met, you’re creating a positive feedback loop for your kid.  You’re saying:
(1) you can set goals for yourself,
(2) you’re capable of doing the work, and
(3) your efforts matter

These are the simple steps to starting any good habit.

Repeating these steps every day creates a pathway for the brain to eventually continue on autopilot.

Right now it’s only a little goal about a bed.  But you’ve got to start small if you ever want to open the path for bigger goals and efforts.

“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.  You find the fun, and snap, the job’s a game!”
– Mary Poppins

I could not agree more.

Yes, ordering your kids to make their beds will work.  But they’ll be missing out on all the life-lesson superpowers they’ll gain.

So, by all means, is there anything you can do to make it FUN?

Who wouldn’t want a little pillow fight in the morning?  Or a speed race for the competitive souls?

A couple minutes of play time is just as good for YOU and your spirits as it for your kids, and it’s always a beautiful bonding time.

Studies show…

I generally try to avoid this angle.  But it’s so hard not telling you about the psychological benefits your kids will gain with this one morning habit.

The way it works is simple:  When you get one task done, first thing in the morning, that one accomplishment fills you with a very powerful feeling that, “hey, maybe I can do… ” another thing.

And another.  It’s like, ok, day – bring it on.  I got you.

You’re setting your kids up for success each and every day because they start in a positive and productive mindset.

This is a highly addictive and beneficial feeling, especially for kids, who generally start their day maybe not so excited or even nervous to go to school and take on their world.

If you’re a disbeliever, here are studies of highly successful people that show how adults benefit in the same way when they make their beds.

One of the most important routines a person can have is their morning routine.  By helping your kids create a morning routine that positively associates goals and efforts and results, you help your kids develop a lasting sense of intention, direction, hard work, and persistence.

These are skills that we all aspire to have as adults.

Speaking of adults…

In case you’re not the pro-bed-maker, and wondering how to teach a habit that you yourself don’t have as an adult, no worries.

Scroll up to step 1 and pretend I wrote this post for you.  It works wonders on everyone.

Just because you’re not a pro, doesn’t mean you can’t learn (today) and teach it (tomorrow).  And the journey may be much more precious if you’re creating this habit together.

Excuses never help anyone

Don’t shy away from this adventure.  Brace yourself for crazy days and resistance.

Don’t cave in to excuses.  Life is hectic. There’s school. There’s sports. Who has time to make a bed?

But it’s two minutes.  Seriously.  Time it.

IN FACT, seriously, time it.  Make that your game.  Make a mini-calendar on a sheet of paper, tape it to the wall, set some music each morning – your favorite song – race to make the bed in the time of the song, and check it off when it’s done.

High fives all around.  Celebration time.  Done.  (Create a bonus if all boxes are checked in a month!)

And always remember the #1 motto:  It’s not about being perfect.  It’s about being done.

Eventually, you get out of the pic.  Let your kids rock and roll on their own.  The younger they start, the better.  Grit takes time to build.  Give them a chance.

Those two minutes will give your kids so much more power to succeed today, and for many awesome tomorrows.

I’d love to hear your stories of pain and gain in the comments below.

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