4 Tips for Breaking Bad Habits

Real moms reveal their secret weapons for fighting kids' poor behavior as part of the Care.com Interview Series.
Marjorie Bogart, Contributor
Articles> Parenting Blogger Advice> 4 Tips for Breaking Bad Habits
kid sticking out tongue

Breaking a bad habit can feel unbearable. Breaking someone else's bad habit can feel downright impossible. Luckily for us, it's our job as parents! Whether it's biting or nose picking, certain behaviors have to be addressed, so we talked to four of our favorite bloggers and moms about how they're doing it. See their tips for squashing kids' peskiest habits and how you might want to start.

  1. Cut the Lecture
    Try to start a conversation to keep your kids' interest instead of preaching at them, says Moms Madhouse blogger, Sharon Ruggieri. But if she's going to lecture, she does it right. "I've learned that I need to ask questions to keep their mind focused," she explains.

    Read Ruggieri's tips for keeping kids clean.
  2. Ask Around
    Your kid isn't the first to be suffering from a poor habit. Reach out to your personal village or join an online mom group for ideas, suggests Real Life blogger Sarah Pinnix. But keep in mind, "what worked for other moms may not work for you. Be willing to try several approaches before finding the key to success."

    See the 7 tips Pinnix has for beating nail biting.

  3. Set an Example
    Be a role model. It's not enough to try to stop bad habits; you must also encourage good ones. Kim Delatorre of Shop With Me Mama insists that, "kids watch you more than you think," so you must cut out your own bad habits and your kids will follow your lead.

    Find out how Delatorre raises healthy eaters.
  4. Wait it Out
    Drawing attention to a negative tendency can accidently reinforce it. The best action in this case is to not take an action. Janine Huldie of Janine's Confessions of a Mommyaholic, confirms, "Sometimes you really do just have to let it go!"

    Read about Huldies strategies for sharing.


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(2) Comments
Janine Huldie
Janine Huldie
Thank you so much Daphne. And I have learned (at least in my experiences now) over time now to try not react immediately and to think the situation through. Sometimes waiting truly is the best thing we can do for our children instead of pouncing on the behavior in my humble opinion. I am glad to share and happy to hear from others their take on this, too.
August 29, 2013 at 1:01 PM
Daphkar P.
Daphkar P.
I have found that engaging in conversation, instead of the usual lecture, works wonders! In the past, when my mother has tried to lecture me on certain things, I would become defiant but when she finally just stopped talking at me but rather with me - engaging in thought provoking conversation, I was awakened. I even felt like I made some of the choices on my own (although she did influence many of them). Having her as an example of what I should be doing also helped.
In regards to waiting it out: I think that it's awesome to wait it out sometimes...especially if focusing on that habit too much can lower the self esteem of the person with the habit. And of course, asking around! It's always a good thing to feel supported and not alone. Awesome Post!
August 22, 2013 at 8:44 PM

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