Consistency in parenting offers stability to your kids when they need it most. Structure is a part of everyday life. We have schedules and routines that work for our homes. Your family rhythms may look totally different than the family’s next door—and they should. Each person in your family is unique and has different needs. One cookie-cutter schedule does not fit all.
Having a morning routine sets us up for a successful day. Our kids are allowed to leave their rooms at 7 a.m., aren’t allowed to watch TV before breakfast, and can expect a hug from my wife at the bottom of the stairs every morning. Build a morning plan that works for your family.
Early on, we let our kids eat wherever they wanted—and then we were frustrated when we wanted them to stay at the table and they wouldn’t. But it was our fault, not theirs, because we hadn’t shown them how to sit and eat at the dinner table. We need to be reasonable and flexible along with consistent at mealtime.
When it is time to go to bed, we say three things every night: drink, potty, brush—and then the kids can get in their beds. If you find yourself frustrated with bedtime, it might be because you lack consistency.
Make sure the punishment fits the crime. If you have multiple children, you will start to hear them say, “That’s not fair.” Having consistency in how you discipline is important for maintaining stability and will eliminate some confusion for your children.
What chores do you expect your kids to do? Consistency here creates kids who are disciplined and work hard. Be sure also to tell the kids what the consequences are for failing to do their chores.
My kids ask for a snack almost every five minutes. Building a snacktime structure helps our kids take ownership and responsibility for this simple request. Every day at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., they are allowed to have a snack—and it’s amazing how quickly they learned to tell time when we started this.
Setting technology limits sets expectations that your kids need. Without consistency, you will find yourself putting an iPad in their hands every time they throw a fit and this will reinforce bad behavior. When the limits are established, your kids know what to expect and a standard has been set.
8. Family Time
When is your designated family time? We try our best to do something fun on Friday nights together. The key is to make it consistent and ongoing to ensure we are making family time a priority.
9. Respecting Your Wife or the Mother of Your Children
Consistency here includes respecting her face to face and behind her back. When I talk bad about her to my kids, I open the door for them to be disrespectful to her. This is not helpful for my kids or honoring to their mother.You cannot control every situation or circumstance, but you can be consistently in control of your attitude.
You cannot control every situation or circumstance, but you can be consistently in control of your attitude. When you establish a consistently positive attitude, you bring a presence of stability and structure that rubs off on their attitudes.
Sound off: Where could you show more consistency in parenting?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and invite them to help create consistencies in your home.