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Habit 3: Put First Things First

Habit 3: Put First Things First ~ Work First, Then Play! Thinking ahead at what needs to be done for the week can be overwhelming for children and adults. If children learn to write down their schedule and mark things off as they are completed, it is an excellent strategy to reduce stress about a busy schedule.


Student example: Doing homework before playing a video game is a smart way to prioritize.

Put First Things First means to decide what is most important and to take care of that first; and that takes discipline. Habit 3 is more than time management, it's also learning to overcome your fears and being strong during hard moments. 

For young children, thinking about what needs to be done can be overwhelming. Use your child's school planner to write down school due dates, sports games and family activities to help make his/her life less stressful. At school, Habit 3 is taught in this child-friendly way: I spend my time on things that are most important. This means I say no to things I know I should not do. I set priorities, make a schedule and follow my plan. I am disciplined and organized.

Reinforce Habit 3 at home with discussions that focus on what is important, planning ahead, and time wasters. Click HERE for family activities!    


The following book was chosen to illustrate Habit 3. Common and easily accessible at most libraries and bookstores,
this book is a fun and interesting way for children to connect to the timeless principles. You will begin to see examples in other children's literature and soon your child will too!


The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle     
The Very Hungry Caterpillar comes out of his egg and has an end in mind-to eat enough to sustain himself while in his cocoon. He puts first things first and gets busy eating.