My Aunty from Singapore sent this image of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective poster to me few days ago. I had seen it before, but didn’t pay much notice until recently.
Some of you would know that a few years ago I ran workshops for teenagers with Dominic Siow of EQ Strategist, and the 7 Habits were introduced in the workshops. It was very helpful to introduce those habits to the teenagers, especially in terms of applying them for their studies.
However this morning while writing this article, I was thinking about the seven habits and thought about whether I did apply them in my own life generally!!!
Answer: almost every day! When we (my brother and sister plus all my cousins) were growing up, I could remember, my family and the extended family applying those “habit reminders” every day, until we knew that any attempt to apply a short cut, almost without fail, someone, somewhere would be there to remind us if we were adopting any bad habits.
Let’s face it, children will try to push boundaries, and take short cuts in whatever possible way they can, unless there is a firm foundation and boundary in force. For example, one of my chores when I was young was to wash up the dishes after meals. Most of the time, I did my chore without any issues; however, some nights I would try to take short cuts by not applying detergent, just wash and dry… or sometimes, I even left the plates in the sink and hoped someone would finish them off for me…
Well… almost for certain I would get a “lecture” and my Grandma or someone in the family would recite the “habit code” to me – “oo tau oo boay”, meaning when we start something, we must finish it properly and with pride, don’t take any short cuts.
These habits had been drilled into us from day one… every day until they became our second nature.
I thought about it and realised that it took my extended family to help instill positive habits to us – the next generation. With my own my two children, now I’ve realised how challenging it is when trying to instill the habits.
We are lucky to have friends who share the same outlook and have the same views in the upbringing of the children to support each other, and mutually we help and reinforce the younger generation with the healthier habits.
As you may hear the saying “It takes a village to raise a child”… it is true.
In order to raise healthy, well adjusted, well mannered and responsible children, without a doubt everyone needs support, whether it is from extended family or friends.
However, there will be times when your closest family members may not share the same view or values. The only thing I can say is, move on and surround yourself with relatives and friends that share the same values.
Here are some notes which I thought would be helpful:
- Surround yourself with friends and families with the same values and outlook in life.
- Mutually support each other as a family and help to instill positive values into the next generation
I look forward to any comments you may have on any challenges that you may have when instilling your values and habits to your children.