While cleaning out my closet recently, I stumbled upon a mystery box. A box I rarely look through but have been carting around with me since I graduated college. A memorabilia box, so to speak.

After opening the lid and gently dusting off the papers scattered near the top, I found myself pulling out journal, after journal, after journal. Journals from my junior high days. High school journals. Even journals filled with sermon notes and weekly prayer lists from when I was in college. I couldn’t believe that I had saved them and of course laughed at myself for what I wrote about as a young, teenage girl.

Once I leafed through them I realized, how beneficial it was for me to write. And write. And write. A simple skill that I learned in school I carried with me into my own personal world. I used this skill to express myself, to apply for jobs and to fill out college applications. I developed this skill by writing paper after paper in college and still write today.

My point? Be aggressive as to what you are training your child to do on a regular basis. Recently, I was shocked when I asked my children to clean their rooms and all of them did so thoroughly and with a good attitude. I was beside myself. A year ago there would have been arguing, complaining and dawdling to no end. The fact that I was persistent in having them clean their rooms, even when they didn’t want to, helped them to develop good habits.

We might feel like we are nagging them now, but eventually it will click. When we couple correction with instruction, our children will be able to understand the why’s behind our requirements of them.

My suggestion? Be sure your children know what you expect of them, and expect big! Start by thinking about what habits and skills you would like your child to gain over this next year. Set yearly goals for what you want to teach your children and stick with it. You will most likely be pleasantly surprised with the results!

What are Some Realistic Goals For Children?