Teaching our children the discipline of good habits can be so discouraging! I would like to tell them what to do, train them in the habit (in maybe a day or two) and then set them on their way not having to think of the lesson again. But alas, as I walk through my home and see lights left on, clothes on the floor, yelling at one another, teeth not brushed correctly, slipshod schoolwork; no, I cannot leave the lesson behind. So instead of getting discouraged, I try to look ahead. It will be a long process of training.
"These [virtues], and such as these, wise parents cultivate as systematically and with as definite results as if they were teaching the 'three R's'." ~ Charlotte Mason
Teaching good habits will take as long as teaching my child how to read. Harrison (9 months) is learning how to say sounds. He's now at 'da-da' and 'beh'. Phoebe (4 yrs) can mostly sing the ABC song correctly and is starting to recognize letters and what sound they make. Jonathan (6 yrs) is learning to put sounds together to read words and sentences. Elizabeth (9 yrs) can read quite well on her own, but needs a little help with unfamiliar words like 'larynx' or 'mauve'. So they are all at different stages of learning this "R".
I can't expect Phoebe to be at the same place Elizabeth is at on her road to reading. Neither should I expect as much in habit training. They will all be at different stages. It will take time to train them in good habits. But I do have all of childhood to work with them, and it is so worth it to have a child who can "bring their will to bear" and make themselves do what they ought to do instead of just what they want to do. Steady progress on a careful plan will produce desired results ~ this encourages me as I disciple my children and train them in good habits.