To help your teen form positive new habits, first of all, you have to understand the adolescent brain. It is programmed by nature to reject the family in general to seek out the new and different in order to work up the courage to leave a secure home and establish a separate life. However, probably 40% of activities are done repeatedly, almost every day in the same context, so establishing positive habits goes a long way toward building a positive life. Habits developed during the teen years have a better chance of carrying over into adulthood.
First you create your habits, then your habits create you. Help your child reduce stress and reduce the chance of impulsive decisions by creating consistent daily habits.
Ways to Form a New Habit
- Make a decision.
- Set a SMART Goal.
- Make it fun or at least reduce friction.
- Devise a reward.
- Continue until it becomes automatic.
- Add it to an old habit.
- Establish cues to remind you.
One of the best things you can do to form positive teen habits is help them find a peer group that is positive and hopeful. The adolescent brain is also prone to addiction, so it is better to get them “addicted” to sports, music, or academics than some of the negative things they might find.
You can get more advice on how your teen’s brain works and what you can do to help by clicking here to see your options.