It’s tough to be a parent. Everyone thinks they can parent your child better than you can, and they certainly share advice and suggestions with you on a regular basis. Yes, it is good to share parenting struggles, especially if you’re a new parent, or dealing with a stage of development for the first time (i.e. teenage years). There are several companies and individuals who have made it their life mission to specifically help you raise your family, have a healthy marriage and have a happy life within your family. Rather than tell you how to parent your kids, I have a suggestion for you that you’re probably already doing, but may not recognize it. Ready? How consistent are you as a parent? Consistency can come in several forms, let’s take a look.
If you have young children, it’s good to be on a relatively normal routine and to keep them on a schedule so that they feel comfortable and they are less stressed. When they’re less stressed, you’ll be less stressed. As they get older and more involved in school, homework, friends and activities, it may be harder to keep a normal routine.
So then what? How do you keep the consistency factor up as they get older? It actually becomes about YOU being consistent. You having the healthy eating habits that you share with your family. You are consistent with how you discipline your children. You are consistent with the rules as far as boys/girls and late nights out goes. You are consistent with your attitude towards and care of money. You are the role model they look to for guidance about learning, educating themselves and setting aside time for personal development. You are the attitude setter for how they treat others and themselves.
Three small things to note. -With your younger children obviously you will have vacations and other events that come up that are out of routine, that’s to be expected. Preparing them several days in advance for the trip or event will help it go smoother. -If your consistency is currently not instilling good habits, attitudes and support in the lives of your family members, you should consider making some adjustments. If necessary, sit down with your children, apologize for being a bad example and explain to them the changes you hope to make, maybe even make it a family project. -With your older children, and also with yourself, it is essential to not forget about grace. There will be situations when you will break your consistency and make mistakes, whether you’re tired, lazy, had a bad day or they just screwed up. It’s absolutely healthy to factor grace into your consistency, but let them know it is grace they are receiving, or you need to be given grace, in the situation, and that it isn’t going to be the new consistency in your family.
What are your consistent habits or rules in your family?