Your child needs to know that no matter what happens, you are always going to be a consistent parent. Maintaining consistency means that you are going to be patient, connected, adaptable, and edutaining with your child all the time, so your child knows what to expect from you, and you know what to expect from them. Here are some pointers on parental consistency:
- Do not sway in how you react to your child day to day, even if your child makes mistakes or has a temper tantrum. Instead, a consistent approach in your parenting is crucial. Especially how you react to and resolve these types of situations.
- Be Predictable. An inconsistent parent may yell at their child one day for a particular behavior, but the next day reacts with patience and use a similar situation as a teaching moment. This inconsistency only creates confusion for your child’s expectations.
- Don’t let your moods interfere. My mother was very inconsistent because of her feelings. If I wanted to ask her a question, I knew not to ask when she was on the couch with a migraine, but when she was busy baking, I knew that it was an excellent time to ask. I had to assess her mood before approaching her because she was very inconsistent in her attitudes and her parenting.
- Let your child know that they can rely on you. By being consistent, they will always know what to expect from you and that they can depend on you to help, teach, and motivate them.
- Don’t be a Lawnmower Parent. This method is the type of parent who cuts a path or “lawn” for their child by finishing everything for them, such as completing their child’s homework for them or resolving all their mistakes for them. In the end, their child never learns how to fix their issues or errors. While this is a “consistent” approach, it is not a healthy one. A better, consistent approach is to let your child know that you will always strive to be connected, fair, attentive, patient, and adaptable with them.
When you think about consistency, ask yourself how you typically react in different situations with your child. Do you lose it when you’re in a bad mood, or do you keep your cool? Be as consistent and reliable as possible with your child as you can, regardless of your mood, and they will learn to be consistent and authentic with you, too.