If there is just one area that most parents – as a whole – fail in, it’d be consistency. We fail at consistency in all parts or our lives at one point or another, right? That diet that’s “going to start on Monday”, or the gym membership we pay for and never use, or whatever else we might’ve started and stopped doing over the course of our lives. It’s all about staying consistent, and as a whole we do not have a great track record. That is about to change, with Nanny 911’s help.
Consistency is a key ingredient in the recipe for good parenting, and well-behaved children. Consistency gives our children a sense of security. When they know what’s going to happen next, or what to expect, it makes transition times much easier. If you have a child that is prone to be anxious, having consistent boundaries and a somewhat consistent schedule can help ease their day to day anxiety.
How to Be Consistent
Create a schedule. Choose a time to wake up, a time for naps, and a time to go to bed. Within those time frames, you’ll also need a rough time for meals, snacks, clean up times, brushing teeth, baths, etc. If you need to, depending on your child’s ages, create a chart detailing your routine. Be sure to account for emergencies, mishaps, and other things that are bound to come up during your day. This means you don’t need to account for every 15 minutes of the day – just a general outline is sufficient, showing the kiddos what to expect around each time of day.
Stick with discipline. Both your rules and consequences should pretty much be set in stone. Establishing house rules (make a chart if it helps) is the first step here. While it’s extremely important to focus on positive parenting, it’s also important to remember the Naughty Chair and why it works. The faster your child learns that your “no” means no, the better off you’ll both be. Follow through with consequences, but also remember like we talked about in the other posts, choose your battles. Don’t use the Naughty Chair or time out for every little thing. The less you have to say “no”, and the fewer times you send your kids to time out, the more they’ll be respected.
Don’t give in. This is the same as the last step but it’s oh-so-important. Some kids are strong-willed, while others are simply easier to deal with. If you have one of those lovely strong-willed children, you’re going to be even more tempted to give in. However, it’s even more important not to when you’re dealing with a strong-willed child. I’m not saying you should dig your heels in over every little thing. I’m saying rules are rules and they must learn to respect them. Period. Be sure to carefully consider which values are important to you, and to your family, before you dig your heels in on something trivial. One of the things some of us struggle with daily is learning to choose which battles to fight, and which to let die on their own.
Remember why you’re doing it. Why did you read this parenting post series? What made you want to change your parenting habits? Why do you even care to be consistent? Think back to your “why”, and it’ll give you the strength you need to pull through this one.
Make it fun. Chores, rules, and all that jazz aren’t very fun, right? And heaven knows kids are all about having fun and not being “bored”, so try to focus on the positive and make everything as enjoyable as possible. Yes, even the chores. Search Pinterest for ideas, or just put some rock n’ roll music on and dance around the house with them while doing your chores, too! Loading a dishwasher and folding laundry is more fun with music and dancing involved.
Practice makes “perfect”. If you fail to be consistent this afternoon, give yourself a break. Start over, and don’t make the same mistake twice. Just like with going to the gym, this is a habit and you’re going to have to train yourself before it becomes second nature. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you make, and allow your child to hear you say “sorry” if need be. It’s not a sign of weakness; and you’ll be setting a great example, showing them that nobody is perfect.
Check out the rest of my Nanny 911’s series (coming soon!):
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