How to Be Both Consistent & Loving
Our kids need lots of things. They need fun, adventure, faith, vegetables and consistent structure (not necessarily in that order!). Some of those are certainly more desirable through the eyes of a child than others, but they all help create strong, healthy kids. One thing parenting experts agree on is that children thrive when they are in an environment that is structured, dependable and consistent. There are days when our tank runs low, and consistent discipline can take more energy than we have left, so here are a few tips for maintaining consistent, loving parenting even when giving in and making the kids happy would seem easier.
MAKE A PLAN!
Be clear about the expectation and the consequence so there aren’t any surprises, and be sure to have this chat when everyone is calm and not in the middle of a conflict. Start small; tackle one or two things at a time.
PRAY FOR GUIDANCE
Pray for strength and pray in thanksgiving for the times you see growth. In moments of turmoil, stop and say to your child, “Things aren’t going well right now; let's take a minute to pray and ask Jesus to help us do the right thing.”
RESISTANCE IS INEVITABLE!
There will be push-back, so rise up and prepare for it.
RESPOND WITH CONSISTENCY
Build a sense of trust and security in children. If they can whine and get what they want one day and whine and don’t get their way another day, it leaves them confused and unsure. The message to them is “push back harder.”
IT TAKES TIME
Behaviors aren’t going to change overnight, but if those behaviors are met with consistent consequences and responses each time they occur, things will change.
Consistent discipline is how we raise great humans, and we do it out of love. Don’t forget to ask for the help of the Father, who loves our kids even more than we do!