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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Kids

When it comes to parenting, I feel like I’m always at war with at least one of the little peeps in my household. Even basic stuff like brushing teeth, bedtime, and meals are cause for battle.

In an age of permissive parenting, are we focused more on our children’s feelings than what’s good for them? Sometimes I wonder.

I like to see my kids happy as much as the next mom, but I’m quite fine allowing them to “suffer” when it comes to following the rules and basic principals our family holds dear. While I wish my kids loved everything I deem necessary, they don’t. They won’t – and that has to be OK.

See, I’ve got a bigger vision than a pouty kid at bedtime. I’m focused on what that well-rested kid will be capable of tomorrow for having had a good night’s sleep.

When I really stopped to consider the battles worth fighting in my house, I came up with 7 that I like to call “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Kids”; check ‘em out!


  • Chores 1 of 7
    Chores
    "You live here too," was the phrase that made my mom famous. Turns out, she was right. It takes a lot of effort to maintain a household and everyone needs to do their part. Chores offer important lessons in accountability, life skills, and teamwork.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Hobbies 2 of 7
    Hobbies
    No matter what your child's passion, encourage them to keep at it! Your child may think she's just having fun but she's learning valuable lessons in determination, patience, and hard work.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Physical activity 3 of 7
    Physical activity
    The Centers for Disease Control recommend children get at least 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day. For tips on choosing physical activities for your children by ages and stages, check out Healthy Children.org's practical suggestions here.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Family dinners 4 of 7
    Family dinners
    If only every family had the opportunity to gather around the nightly dinner table. Strive for a good old-fashioned family meal at least once a week to come together and reconnect. Our children will grow to prioritize family in the way they've been shown.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Reading 5 of 7
    Reading
    The Children's Reading Foundation recommends kids spend at least 20 minutes a day reading. If you have a reluctant reader, check out 13 Fun and Positive Ways to Help Your Struggling Reader.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • A balanced diet 6 of 7
    A balanced diet
    It's not always easy to get kids to eat a balanced diet but we can lead by example. HealthyChildren.org offers a handy guide to The Five Food Groups
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Sleeping 7 of 7
    Sleeping
    Sleep is a critical component of maintaining a child's health and mental focus. According to WebMD, kids ages 3-6 require 10-12 hours of sleep per day, while kids ages 7-12 require 10-11 hours of sleep per day.
    Image credit: Shutterstock

What are else do “highly effective kids” need?

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