Clear, firm, consistent parenting is quality parenting. I believe being a consistent parent is both vitally important and totally necessary to ensure a happy family life.
In fact I would go so far as to state that I believe clear,consistent parenting produces well adjusted children and parents. This creates a happy family.
- Do your children whine and grizzle?
- Are you a push over and easily manipulated by them?
- Do you walk on egg shells around your children in order to maintain peace?
- How often do you give in after saying no?
- Are you in charge or do your children run your household?
Children learn best by being given clear, firm and consistent directions from parents who are clear, firm and consistent in their approach.
What is Consistent Parenting?What does it mean to be comsistent?
To be consistent is to be reliable,dependable and constant.
These words immediately convey comfort don't they?
Being reliable means that you can be trusted. When I think of the people I can trust, the first thought that comes to mind is that I know if they say they will do something, they will do it. If they say they will be on time they are on time. I have every confidence in my expectations of them.
Is this how you want to be seen by your children? Is this how you would like to see your children become?
Being dependable means that you are steady and responsible. Aren't these the values you would like your children to learn from you?
Being constant means to be stable, regular and even in your approach.
Doesn't this make you feel comfortable and safe?
What is the Opposite of Being Consistent?
Inconsistent, contradictory, unpredictable, changeable.
That's definitely lacking in comfort and safety in my opinion.
Unfortunately it is also the way of a lot of parenting these days. No parent intends this to be their patterned approach, and all first time parents would deny that they would approach their parenting in this way, but it is a more common approach than being consistent.
Often it is because parents don't trust their own instincts, or because they are raising their children as if they were projects rather than little people.
Don't Try to be More Than a ParentMany caring parents contradict themselves by making too many promises, and by trying to be more than just parents to their child.
All of us gaze at our newborn's beauty and declare that we will do anything to shelter them from harm, pain and life's difficulties. Yes, I know from experience that I would want to bear the pain for my children, rather than have them go through it.
However, those kinds of promises are out of our hands to make, and life's experience has shown me that my greatest grief has often provided my greatest understanding also.
The consistent approach would be to promise to stand alongside your child through any difficulties they will face, to help them handle the pain in the strongest possible way, and to enable them to learn the best lessons.
Effective Parenting Skills - Be Consistent in YourselfBe consistent in yourself
By being consistent yourself, you learn to trust your own responses and your children are surrounded by your loving constancy.
Be consistent with discipline
Effective discipline is about making a decision and then sticking to it.
It is about understanding clear guidelines, and carrying out enabling behaviour.
To begin with it can seem quite time consuming to concentrate on clear, firm, consistent guidelines if this is a new approach for you. Be aware that this is very true. It takes concentrated effort and time to change old habits to new ones, but if you maintain consistency, you will be very surprised how quickly new patterns of behaviour can be formed.
When your children know that they can trust you and take you at your word, they no longer attempt to manipulate you. They trust instead that it is pointless.
Your direction is clear, fair and firm and they know that you will be consistent.
Effective Parenting Skills - Think First Before Saying NO!Effective parenting skills are displayed really clearly when it comes to saying NO! Many parents just do not think about the importance of saying no and sticking to it.
If your children don't believe you mean it, then you have set yourself up for their grizzling and nagging since they believe that you will change your mind.
It really pays to think first before saying no, as you need to mean it. It is always better to tell the truth by saying I'm not sure just at this moment than to be seen as a push over later. Your children will come to trust your decisions if you are consistent.
However, in age appropriate situations, it is also more enabling to say Let's talk about this together, or What do you think about it?
- The consistent approach is concerned with enabling our children, rather than doing things for them.
- The consistent approach is concerned with keeping communication open.
- The consistent approach is not afraid to take a firm, fair, stance when it is appropriate.
Effective Parenting Skills - BE the ParentI am a firm believer that although I am my children's friend, I am their parent first and foremost. Ask yourself this most important question! Who is in charge at your house? The parents or the children? Getting this right when your children are young is certainly the most valuable stance throughout the stormy teenage years.
I encourage you as a parent to look at your own behaviour and work out where you could become more consistent in your parenting approach.