Habits Developed in Childhood

Saying you are no longer a kid as a high schooler is both right and wrong. Between the ages of 14-18, you’re able to have more freedom with what you do but a fallback when you don’t understand certain topics because you are still learning. You shouldn’t be held to a level that puts too much pressure on you, nor should you be anticipated to understand everything that a well-functioning adult would know. As a teenager, you can be a foolish child but must know how to balance your fun life with new priorities, even if it’s more work.

As a teenager, you’re in a gray area. You’re being prepared for adulthood and maturing emotionally with each year! But being an adult, there may be some habits to break. No adult is perfect, and everyone makes mistakes or has bad habits and tendencies, but restraining them shows growth in maturity and being perceived as more professional.

You do not need to break any of your childish habits as long as they don’t concern other people, and you shouldn’t feel bad that you have a few of the following examples. But knowing how to break them and understanding possible health risks are very important. Once you turn 18, you aren’t automatically an adult, but breaking some habits can help you feel like one and possibly be viewed as your age.

Some habits from childhood that may carry on in your adult life include: Biting your nails, sleeping with a night light, being all around lazy, over/under sleeping, obsessive activity on social media, and not knowing how to cook. As kids, you have more leeway when not understanding health risks and engaging in ‘childish’ activities and habits but it’s good to practice discipline before cutting out everything.

If you like to sleep with a light on, it’s perfectly okay! You don’t need to relearn how to sleep if you are more comfortable with the light on or are fearful of the dark. 29% of adults are openly afraid of darkness and there is no pressure to take away the light source when it gives comfort, but it’s a pattern some may want to break. As for all habits, it’s good to set a goal and have a progression. If you sleep with a lamp on, you can move the lamp somewhere further from you when sleeping so the light is fainter. Eventually, you can put a thin sheet over the lamp. After a few nights, you can try to sleep without it. If comfortable, you can ask someone to join you to sleep. Knowing someone is in the room can help you feel safer. Sleepovers are always fun and can make you feel safe.

There is no pressure to stop sleeping with a light. There can be adding variables as to why you dislike the dark and it’s understandable. Never be swayed from what makes you comfortable for the sake of being embarrassed or getting older. But, if you want to stop sleeping with a light on, research what may work for you, and the past suggestions may aid you. Remember, there is no shame in feeling safe.

When it comes to social media use, it’s advised to stop depending on it. It’s estimated that the average teenager spends 6-9 hours a day on social media. With the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep, you’re getting 6 hours of activity a day at its predicted worst. During those 6 hours, there’s a good chance you aren’t even moving when off of your phone or TV. Many may sacrifice sleep for time on a screen, eyes rarely leaving them and it’s harmful.

Phones and social media can be addicting, and you know at least one person that can’t get off their phone during class. They’re sneaking a peek at their phone every day, at every chance they get, and they might be talking to someone else in the same school building! It’s very frustrating to teachers because many give warnings, but they get ignored for mindless scrolling.

Breaking this horrible and damaging pattern can start with something fun. It’s good to pick up a hobby that doesn’t involve a screen. Drawing on paper, journalism, creating art, or picking up a sport is great! If it’s tedious, you can have music on, but you must be doing something, preferably moving. If nothing works, you can always turn to family and friends. You may get tempted to pull out your phone when there is a slight beat of silence, but resist it! If your friends have the same habit, try to do something fun and enjoy each other’s presence!

There is value to the internet, but it should be a privilege rather than an option between it and living. If you’re addicted to your phone and being online, you may get fired from future jobs for that consistent check for a new notification. Learn to resist it before you get embarrassed and show unprofessionalism in your work setting because these behaviors as a kid can lead to dependency. ‘I can’t live without my phone!’ is something funny people say, but it’s the reality of some as they can’t get off of it.

Many patterns don’t need to be broken because they’re only influenced by social pressure and expectation, but some habits you should stop for your health. Biting your nails, undersleeping, and not knowing how to cook are great examples. Getting good sleep every night is very important and should be prioritized during adolescence. You’re expected to show up at your job on time and be as productive as possible. You don’t have many excuses when it comes to staying up late. Getting good sleep is hard to do and sometimes is up to chance and your environment, but prioritizing it will help even if it’s just an extra hour. Once you have gotten into the habit, everything will be a lot easier.

Cooking is a skill everyone needs to know no matter their gender or economical status! Just because you can order doesn’t mean you should because you’ll need those skills. Making food as a kid can be hard, but trying to start now would be better than not at all. It can even be fun if you invite someone over or ask to make some food with a relative. Being able to make your own meals shows responsibility and proves you can live on your own.

Finally, nail-biting. It doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, but over time it can be very damaging to your teeth and potentially cause an infection. The human mouth is very dangerous and simply because they are your germs doesn’t mean what’s under your nails isn’t harmful. Besides the health risks, they can look improper. No one gets a job because they have nice nails, but uneven, obvious teeth marks nibbling at your fingernails can give off an immature impression, something you wouldn’t want.

You don’t need to stop any of these habits and having a few doesn’t mean you aren’t mature or fit to be trusted and depended on, but learning or undoing a few of them may help you grow into maturity or look more presentable. People may give you a pass for these behaviors now, but one day they won’t and it’s good to eventually stop. Have some nail clippers, join someone while they’re cooking, and get off your phone for a couple of hours! You can make breaking these enjoyable while gaining that extra bit of independence.