According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information , it takes more than two months before a new behavior becomes a habit on average. Over the course of about 66 days, the human body starts to recognize the pattern—then it becomes automatic.
“What we believe at the age of 13 is likely what we will die believing. If we want our girls to know Christ, we need to make sure they are given ample time and space to develop their faith in their foundational years.”
“Fear is debilitating. It manifests itself into a variety of unhealthy behaviors. One such behavior, worry, is a negative focus on the future. Speculating on what might occur under potential circumstances can provide each of us with hundreds of sleepless nights, Patti Garibay, founder and executive director of American Heritage Girls shared.
In the Raising Godly Girls Guide to Putting Faith Over Fear, American Heritage Girls encourages parents, saying, “Equipping your girl to tackle her everyday fears, in addition to the ones reported on by the nightly news, means forming new habits.”
“Raising a Godly girl requires healthy spiritual habits, too. Forming new habits takes time, especially if it means ‘breaking’ old ones. Is your daughter already a creature of habit? For some, strict daily rituals provide a sense of predictability and comfort. Others may take some attentiveness to solidify. Bottom line: we all fall into routines, so it’s important to analyze how current habits might be helping or hurting us.”
While some routines can be healthy and productive, others might be taking us away from more important parts of life. Garibay suggests that parents consider how they are guiding their daughter to incorporate healthy, faith-filled habits into her everyday life. Garibay writes, “Do you, yourself, exemplify healthy spiritual habits? If you’re ready to add something new to your everyday routine, consider tacking on the new habit to something that you already do.”
According to Garibay, establishing healthy spiritual habits in the lives of girls is an important step in raising them to be women of integrity. When girls start to form faith-filled habits early in life, like daily prayer or Scripture journaling, they are more likely to keep Christ at the center of their lives as they grow. American Heritage Girls agrees with Barna Research findings, stating, “What we believe at the age of 13 is likely what we will die believing. If we want our girls to know Christ, we need to make sure they are given ample time and space to develop their faith in their foundational years.”
American Heritage Girls was founded by a group of parents wanting a faith-based, scout-type character development program for their daughters in 1995. The AHG Program is dedicated to the mission of building women of integrity through service to God, family, community and country. American Heritage Girls across the nation and the globe participate in badge programs, service projects, leadership opportunities, and outdoor experiences, all with an emphasis on Christian values and family involvement.
In addition to the biblically-based parenting advice shared in the Raising Godly Girls Guide and the Raising Godly Girls blog platform, the American Heritage Girls Program provides a community experience in a Troop setting. Girls benefit from Christ-centered friendships and mentors to assist them in becoming Godly girls.
Today there are Troops in every state and in 15 countries around the world through the Trailblazer Program. A variety of Christian denominations are also represented as Charter Organizations for Troops. There are thousands of volunteer members across the country helping girls to grow in their faith, cultivate a heart for service, enjoy the great outdoors, and have more fun than they can imagine.