We are people of habits – young and old alike. Naturally, we are inclined to do something whether it is beneficial or detrimental because knowingly or unknowingly habits are weaved into our lives. Whether we intentionally train our children habits or not, they will still form habits which will determine their success in life.

Sow an act, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.

Since the day Dot started walking at about 12 month old, she starts to bring things around the house. A neat and orderly place turns into a mess in no time when she explores around. It is a stage where we will have ensure her safety while having more mess to clear!

We started bringing her to the library when she is about 13 month old.  She is always so excited by the large collection of books and the big space. She liked to run to and fro the book shelves and stacked the books on the table, many times without spending much time reading. It came a point where it became a bit out of control.

Dot's first visit to the library when she was about 13 month old

I told Dot and signed with my hands, “Mei, take only one book at a time. Ok?”

Dot replied, “Ok.”

Self-control and order do not come naturally to her – such habits are undeveloped and we thought it was good to start training her when she can understand basic instruction. It took us several occasions to supervise and remind her that only one book is allowed to and fro the book shelf. Now that she is two years old, she is able to exercise more self-control and most of the time takes only one book at a time.

Recently, I was surprised to see Dot picked up a chair that fell off at the read-aloud corner. In the similar occasion, she saw a torn book on the shelf and brought it to the librarian.

It was encouragement to see the fruit of our labour!


Recently, I read “Smooth and easy days with Charlotte Mason“, a free e-book written by Sonya Shafer and I was encouraged to do more to help my girl develops good habits in her life that may last a lifetime.

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6

Now we have to be intentional in building good habits into our daughter’s life which will take many weeks, months and years to inculcate. We need perseverance, oh Lord!

These are the habits listed in the e-book – quite a handful! Take your pick!

Decency and Propriety Habits

  • Cleanliness
  • Courtesy
  • Kindness
  • Manners
  • Modesty and Purity
  • Neatness & Order
  • Regularity
  • (Mentioned only) – Candor
  • Courage
  • Diligence
  • Fortitude
  • Generosity
  • Gentleness
  • Meekness
  • Patience
  • Respect
  • Temperance
  • Thrift

Mental Habits

  • Attention
  • Imagining
  • Meditation
  • Memorizing
  • Mental Effort
  • Observation
  • Perfect Execution
  • Reading for Instruction
  • Remembering
  • Thinking
Moral Habits

  • Integrity (as shown in)
    • Priorities
    • Finishing
    • Use of Time
    • Borrowed Property
  • Obedience
  • Personal Initiative
  • Reverence
  • Self-Control
  • Sweet, Even Temper
  • Truthfulness
  • Usefulness

Religious Habits

  • Regularity in Devotions
  • Prayer
  • Reading the Bible
  • Praise
  • Reverent Attitude
  • Sunday-Keeping
  • Thanksgiving
  • Thought of God

Physical Habits

  • Alertness to Seize Opportunities
  • Fortitude
  • Health
  • Managing One’s Own Body
  • Music
  • Outdoor Life
  • Quick Perception of Senses
  • Self-Control in Emergencies
  • Self-Discipline in Habits
  • Self-Restraint in Indulgences
  • Training the Ear and Voice
18 month old - Quiet reading time in the morning

I remembered a few months back, J and I attended a series of classes on infant and toddler. I review the notes again and see how we have applied them in our parenting journey thus far. Inevitably, we still fall short in some areas, gain grounds in some and are working on some. Parenting is a process of trial and error.

Dot is at this stage of development where she likes to exercise her will and sometimes we are engaged in this battle of wills. Learning to discipline her and teaching her about limits is a new area that we are learning as parents.

Currently, we are training Dot to sit quietly on her high chair facing the greenery outside every morning while flipping and reading her book, in hope of building self-control, patience, obedience, concentration and focus. So far she can sit through for about 15 to 20 minutes, though not quietly throughout. Still exploring ways to teach and train her limits and self-control.

As much as Dot needs to learn self-control, I need to learn to exercise self-control as well as a mom who has to face her 24/7 ;p

Self-control could turn kids into successful adults according to research finds.

 How blessed is the little one whose parent prays,”Lord, open my eyes to ways of needed training that I have not seen; help me not to be blind to areas where I can be a better parent to my child”.