Currently, I'm in the middle of trying to instill new habits and hobbies in my house—teaching my littlest to use the potty, showing my oldest that sticking to a new hobby (like tennis) takes patience, and I'm really trying to get better at making more recipes at home. It can be so easy to just let any new teaching moment pass by, but consistency is key. So, along with my friends at BAND-AID Brand, I wanted to share a few tips I've learned that might help you to stick with it through challenges big and small…
Potty Training. Oh boy. My first kid was so easy to potty train and did great being trained early. This one is a little different and has been very anti-potty. But we are slowly making progress. When she uses the potty, we make a HUGE deal of it, cheer and clap and tell her how proud we are. She gets one jelly bean as a reward and then a sticker on her progress chart. For us, the consistency of taking her often and showing her how she has progressed has helped to show her that she's on her way to diaper-free big kid land.
Tennis Lessons. When I was little, I took piano lessons and never loved it. I didn't enjoy taking lessons, and five years later, I quit. But, of course, now I regret that I don't know how to play the piano. My 5-year-old started taking tennis lessons last year when she was four. She picked up on it and enjoyed it more than I expected. She takes lessons just once a week for 30 minutes which is a good short lesson for a child of this age. But sometimes she gets frustrated with new strokes or coordination that she isn't as strong at. In a moment of her frustration, it could be so easy to say, "Hey, we can just stop taking lessons!" But grit—sticking to things—is something that everyone needs to learn. I want my kids to learn how to stick to something even when it's not easy.
So every week after her lesson, we review how she did and what she's getting better at and what she can still improve upon. When she makes progress on a certain stroke or something new she's been learning, I'll surprise her with a egg filled with some small toys. While she's not getting a prize every time, the idea is that when she makes big progress or landmarks in her lessons, she gets a little something to celebrate.
Cooking More. Time is always so precious and in my busy, working mom life, I have accepted the fact that I cannot make homemade meals from scratch very often. However, I love making food when I can, and I love including my kids in the process of making something so that they have a better understanding of how things get made from start to finish. Since I am a very visual person, to encourage and remind myself about this goal, I'll tape up photos of recipes I want to make in my kitchen. It's like my Pinterest board come to life right in front of me so I can't forget about it!
So for me, sticking with it is about ways that you can encourage practice and repetition. For the kids, small and consistent rewards, and for me, visuals act as reminders and encouragement. And, as always, I keep my Oh Joy! First Aid Kit on hand filled with essentials ready to #SaveTheDay so I can continue to #StickWithIt in any situation.