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Updated: Oct 21, 2020


It's been a while that we've been cooped up with our families. And, if absence makes the heart grow fonder, is the opposite also true?

Do you find yourselves getting on each others' nerves - with every little bad habit magnified 100x?


Very seldom do any of us need to commit to a bad habit to keep it going.

Those bad habits just seem to follow us no matter how much we want to stop. Good habits, however, take time and commitment to form and stick to.

Think about it...How easy was it for you to start

  • ...smoking?

  • ...drinking soda?

  • ...overeating?

How hard was it to quit? Are you still trying?

Well, it's the same for your kiddos. Whether it's brushing their teeth, hanging their coats up, or settling down to do their homework, it is so much easier just not to.

But that doesn't make for a happy household -does it? There's a constant battle of wills and everyone ends up cranky and exhausted.

What's a mother to do?

I suggest letting go of the nagging, cajoling, begging, pleading, punishing, yelling -- whatever -- and start a partnership with your kids.


Here are some things to do with your kids to get you started and help you along the way:

  1. Visualize the outcome. Feature the happiness you’ll feel, how you will look, and your emotions each time you practice the good habit that you want to form.

  2. Write down the benefits. For example, if they commit to brushing teeth nightly, write down the burdens that would be lifted if you realize success. Would it be fewer cavities – not spending as much time in the dentist's chair? Also, write down the sacrifices they’re going to have to make when they commit to the good habits. For example, if they’re committed to getting homework done, they might have to give up some game time on the computer.

  3. Keep going. Don’t quit if you experience a failure. When you’re truly committed, don’t just give up at the first sign of trouble. Wars would never have been won and highly successful people would have never reached great heights if they quit after one or many failures.

  4. Engage your mind totally and completely. You’ve all got to realize why the bad habit keeps plaguing you.

  5. Focus on your performance rather than the consistency of your efforts. For example, if you’re committed to keeping a clean room but once in a while only feel like putting the clothes away and not the toys, you’ve at least kept up the routine – making the bad habit of not cleaning up easier to break.

The Ugly

Unfortunately, we are human and nothing happens automatically.

Forming good habits or losing bad ones, you’ll have to commit to going through the struggle to get there. You can commit to a good habit for 30 days and have a pretty good head start on making it a permanent habit.

If you’re giving up something they really enjoy by changing a bad habit, be sure to substitute something that's desirable. Rewards are a good way to embed a new habit and overwrite the bad one.

Be sure that the habits are being formed or lost because the kiddos see the benefits and want it – and are not just doing it because "you said so". This is where it is so important to include and enlist your child in the process. No matter how much they love, admire, or respect you - it just won't work.

Lastly, if it's something that you can't go alone, if it is a constant source of stress in your home life, get help. Small problems turn into major battles and all objectivity is lost. Confidence and self-esteem are eroded.

The coaching, accountability, and consistency I provide help clients to gain insight and to develop an action plan. First, we’ll work to understand more clearly the underlying issues that are affecting your abilities to negotiate a truce. Then, I’ll share with you what strategies have proven most effective at dealing with those issues and will help you to develop and implement a plan for putting them into action. You can contact me here.

Now, I'd love to hear from you.

Have you helped your child pick up any positive or break any undesirable habits successfully? Share them in the comments.


For 24/7 support and inspirations, join our Facebook group.

If you are someone who is looking for wisdom and support, schedule a SKYROCKET YOUR CHILD'S SUCCESS SESSION today.

We'll look at their goals, challenges they are facing, opportunities they might be missing. We'll also uncover hidden problems that may be sabotaging their desired results. You'll leave the session feeling renewed, re-energized, and inspired to get results faster and easier than you thought possible. And you'll have a plan of action to do just that.

"Action is the foundational key to all success." Picasso

There has never been a more important time to seek the right type of parent advisory and support group than now.

Encourage Greatness is designed to help you to turn the disjointed parenting advice you’ve collected over the years into a real plan that will stand the test of time, the ups and downs of toddler tantrums, worries over academics, pre-teen angst, and teenage surliness and allow you to be sure of your decisions and sleep at night. (which sounds pretty good right now), It will help you to ride the waves of parenthood in an ever-changing landscape! And come out with strong family relationships and kids who are prepared for the future.

You will get:

  • Six months of support to set you and your kids up for success in these uncertain and trying times.

  • The expertise of someone who spent over 40 years in a New York City Classroom and raised (and actually taught) her own 4 kids

  • 1 weekly group coaching and training call with ample time for personal questions and answers

  • Personal direct access to me via text and Facebook messenger.

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The real magic is in the expertise, the accountability, and the parenting "best practices" taught inside Encourage Greatness Member Group.

You can look all over the place for something as strategic, as comprehensive, and as effective.

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SO...if you are serious about your kids' exponential growth, smart parenting, and being a confident parent so that you raise a confident kid,. Encourage Greatness is for you!


Mary Kerwin is an expert in helping kids to develop the confidence and self-esteem skills that they need to thrive now and grow into happy, confident, successful adults. She is a wife, mother of 4, teacher, and both a Certified Health Coach and founder of Confident Kids Now. Her life’s work has been in Education, spending more than 40 years as a classroom teacher. Her mission has always been to foster and develop each child to see their unlimited potential.

Her work with PARENTS gives them the skill set needed to stop making parenting decisions from a place of FEAR, INDECISION, AND GUILT, and start parenting confidently from their hearts. She is committed to helping children to shine, overcome obstacles, and live the life of their dreams and want to enlist the adults in their lives to do the same.

(646) 266-4876

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