Consistency in Parenting

Being consistent is very important as a parent. What our kids need to know is what to expect if they present us with a certain kind of behaviour. Kids should know without a shadow of a doubt what our reaction will be, every time. Good parents will react in the same way to the same problem.

This helps our kids understand and in turn make an educated decision, perhaps about whether it is worth mucking up. For instance, if your child cam home late from school and you grounded them for a week, they would most likely think very long and hard about whether to repeat the behaviour, due to the steep consequence. When we are consistent we actually help our kids to behave.

Most parents are not consistent in what they do, and need to work on things in order to make life easier for our kids. And that’s what our job is, to help make life easier for our kids. The end result we want is for them to become well equipped to face life as an adult one day. But in order to do this we need to train our kids up to do things the right way.

Most times when children misbehave it is because they want to test to see if you will remain firm in your boundaries. Kids actually feel relieved when we do stick to our agreed upon boundaries. They feel secure when they know what things are going to be like. And the thing is that when we change the rules without letting the kids know we bring trouble upon ourselves.

Kids get confused when we move the boundaries and that’s when things go wrong. I can give you an example: I do not allow my daughter to have friends sleepover on a Sunday evening because she has school the next day. But one evening she had a friend over and she begged me to change my mind just once. I gave in and said OK, against my better judgment. Actually I somehow managed to justify it in my mind.

That was fine until the next weekend when the same thing happened. This time it was harder to say no to her. Once again the next week she asked me and now she asks me nearly every single Sunday night. I am still paying the price for not sticking to my boundaries. The problem is that I said yes just once and now my daughter is wondering when I am going to say yes just once more. I have blown it with that boundary and it is totally my fault.

When we go back on a boundary we will experience the repercussions for weeks after the fact. It’s not just a once off occurrence because the kids will pick up on the inconsistencies and bombard you like never before. And it’s your own fault when that happens. And it’s much harder to go back and rectify things. It is much better not to go there in the first place.

Next time your child tries to push a boundary, remember that all kids push boundaries and they do it because they actually want to know that you won’t waver in them. So do your child a favour today and stick to your boundaries and practice consistency in your parenting.

Kim Patrick is a single mum with four children who lives on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia. She is a parent coach, seminar speaker and author of the book “Get Your Child To Behave In 30 Days Or Less”. Kim also created the “Sleeping Angels” CD series, aimed at facilitating a behavioral change in children while they are sleeping. Her web site is http://www.mychildcanbehave.com

Reduce Parenting Stress

Being a parent is an extremely difficult, albeit rewarding job. Every day there is something new and unexpected thrown at you and you are somehow expected, without any real training, to know exactly what to do. When you first come home from the hospital with your new baby the daunting feeling of the task before you finally hits you and the stress is sometimes incredibly overwhelming. If you can manage to reduce parenting stress you will find that being a parent is an amazing opportunity and probably one of the best feelings in the world.

Children grow at an alarming rate! When they are born and you experience the baby stage, you may not notice at the time because you are too tired how quickly this stage passes. Each day your baby does something or learns something new. Before you know it the toddler stage is upon you and temper tantrums strike. Overnight your cute, innocent child is replaced by a stranger who throws a fit at the drop of the hat and often for reasons unknown. Getting through the toddler stage can be a challenge, but if you learn a few coping techniques you can reduce parenting stress and find the sweet child you thought had disappeared for good.

One of the first ways you can handle your children when their behavior gets difficult is to distract them from the reason they are getting upset. Children are amazing in this way, unlike adults who get so focused on something that we tend to obsess, children can easily be taken away from a situation and forget about why they were upset in the first place. This is sometimes the best technique for dousing the flames of a fire before it gets out of control.

The second way to help reduce parenting stress is to keep a schedule. Children need structure and by knowing what comes next during the day they are more likely to follow your routine without difficulty. Having a set naptime is also very important because if naps are late or skipped entirely, this can have a huge impact on their mood and cause many unwanted tantrums.

The third option for helping to keep the home a happy place is to have fun activities to keep your children engaged and busy. Being bored is often the biggest reason children act out, if they have something to keep them entertained and occupied they will be less likely to get upset about not getting their way. Of course tantrums during your activities can happen, perhaps they have not learned the art of sharing, or they simply want to do something other than what you’ve planned. These situations can be handled calmly by offering your child an alternative; it is amazing how letting them pick between two options lets them feel like they are in control without actually taking the control away from you.

These simple ways of creating structure in your home and using distraction to cope with tantrums can help reduce parenting stress considerably. And by doing that you will be able to enjoy your children more and really pay attention to the precious time you have with them. Because although certain moments may seem to last forever, their childhood will ultimately fly by in a flash and you will soon be whisking them off to college before returning to your empty next. Don’t let small tantrums and unwanted behavior get in the way of your time with your children, stay calm and have patience and you will reap the benefits by experiencing some wonderful moments with your amazing little ones.

The Good Parenting

A verse in the bible has stated: Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Truly, raising children has never been easy, however it is viewed as one of the most rewarding task humans can have. More than a few do not deal parenting with the same attention and focus they usually utilize for their job. Some may act according to impulsive response, or just the same method of parenting their parents used. Either way, you will not know how effective it is until you see what kind of person your children have become.

To guide you with good parenting, here are important tips you need to consider.

1. You are right in their sight. When children are still in their toddler stage up to their adolescent stage, what you do greatly matters. What your children act sometimes reflects your behaviors or the way you deal with people. It is safe to deliberate before you react to something. It is somehow difficult to control sudden surge of emotion, but remember, ask yourself first if what you intend to do brings positive result.

2. Enough of your love. Parents’ love can be unconditional and overwhelming. In the principles of good parenting, you don’t have to love all the time. Impose limitation and establish rules which your children should follow. Show them enough of your love and inculcate discipline at the same time. Do not set harsh punishment as a prize of disobedience. Give time-out and provide explanations if you have to use any of your disciplinary measures.

3. Consistency and explanation. The most essential tool to make rules work is too keep your stand as consistent as possible. Discuss with your children the non-negotiable and negotiable circumstance. You need to explain what they need to know when it comes to rules and decision for them to understand the real score. You can talk to them while sitting over a beautiful metal beds for proper conditioning of the mind and for a suitable environment.If your authority is based on wisdom and not on power, your children would most likely opt not to challenge your decision.

4. Develop your child’s independence. Children in every milestone of their lives scream for freedom and independence. They need to develop self-control by setting those limits in their behaviors and actions. The approach lies in your decision on how to build their sense of self-direction with the freedom and independence you have given.

5. Give respect. Treat your child with respect so you will obtain respect in return. Just as any individual wants, your children desire to be treated fairly and kindly. You need to show them that you honor their opinion and pay them attention when it is their turn to speak. Learning of a child takes place in the home first. Undoubtedly, children treat others the way they are being treated at home by their parents. Respect is the foundation of every relationship that your children may have with others. Help them establish respect not just because they are sitting on their favorite metal bar stools but even to their own selves.

Ethan Mark Henkel enjoys writing for Home and Bedroom Furniture which sells Discount Bedroom Sets and Childrens Bedroom Sets as well as a host of additional products.

Joyful Parenting

Tip 1. Develop humour through:
• Having joke nights
• Joke of the week on the fridge
• Having fun times eg leisure activities.
• Laughing at oneself and the situation.

Tip 2. Have a system of discipline which promotes joy.
• Rules with rewards rather than punishment.
• Focus on what the children do right rather than on what they do wrong.
• Be consistent in rewarding children.
• Use positive supportive, joyful words rather than negative condemning ones.
• Give each child some responsibility.

Tip 3. Have a healthy lifestyle involving:
• Regular exercise eg whole family can go bike riding together. Younger children can be put on carrier baskets. This is usually a very joyful experience.
• Whole family can go walking together, younger ones in strollers. Chatting along the way can be fun and promote a feeling of joy.
• Family could dance together. We know of a family in which the father and his three daughters all go to dancing classes together. They love and enjoy the experience. The mother plays netball, as this is a sport which brings her joy.

Tip 4. Communication: Open, honest and sensitive communication is fundamental to promoting joy.
• Children need to be given opportunities to share negative experiences from school or with peers so that any sadness they are experiencing can be made to evaporate and be replaced with a joyful feeling.
• Family meeting times can provide the forum for discussing what has been sad as well as what has been joyful.
• Communication needs to be empowering, encouraging, humorous and joyful.

Tip 5. Have a positive way of dealing with sibling rivalry.Sibling rivalry can be one of the factors that result in friction which dissipates joy.
• Ensure each child has quality time with at least one parent each week.
• Let each child feel loved, cherished and irreplaceable.
• Celebrate the successes of each.
• Allow children to settle their own differences unless there is violence or an imbalance of power.

Intervening can make it seem the parents are favouring one above the others.

Tip 6. Have a support network
Have a friend or relative you can talk to or to whom you can send the children if you feel like pulling your hair out. Some time alone can return the joyful feeling.

Tip 7. Ensure you have time to nurture yourself
Each day try to do one thing that makes you feel joyful. This can be as simple as reading a book or taking a short walk.

In summary parenting is an occupation for which there is not a preparatory degree.
As some people enjoy their role as parents, others perceive it as a chore whiles yet others actually dislike being parents? We hope that the tips given in this article will inspire all parents to bring more peace, love and joy into their parenting.

© Marguerite Clancy
About the Author: Marguerite’s passion is to help children and adults reach their potential in a more peaceful and joyful world. She is committed to early intervention and prevention. This is evident in her books, services and workshops. She is a trained teacher, counselor, life coach and sandplay therapist. She is the author of Joyful Parenting Inspiring Success, Empowering Children with an Attention Deficit (in English and German) as well as Inspiring Success. All are available from http://cararevitalisationcentre.com They can be downloaded as individual chapters, ebooks or purchased as hard copies.
Chapters which relate to this article are: Chapter 11 of Joyful Parenting which relates to systems of discipline. Chapter 9 of Joyful Parenting contains further in-depth knowledge of communication styles.
Ways of discovering Communication Styles are shown in Inspiring Success available from User friendly Resources:
New Zealand Office Telephone: 0508 500 293; Fax: 0508 500 399.
Australian Office Telephone: 1800 553 890; Fax: 1800 553 891.
Website: http://userfr.com

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Spiritual Parenting

Spirituality is often an area that is overlooked when we think of children and their upbringing. Yet it holds great importance when we look at the meaning of all our lives.  Spirituality has little to do with religion; religion in my view is simply a means a person chooses to explore their spirituality. Spirituality, I feel, is the essence of who we are; our divinity; our oneness, that which connects us to everyone around us, the world in which we live and our higher selves, or if you like God. We are more than just the physical being we see when we look in the mirror, much more. In fact that physical body is a tiny part of the presence that lies within all of us.  

When we have a child we are safeguarded with a spirit that has chosen us to introduce them to their new world. This spirit is older and wiser than would first appear and they have as much to teach us, as we do them. Children show us daily how to embrace life, to live in the now. They show us the magic and wonder that surrounds us and which we, through many years of conditioning, have grown to deny. They hold none of the judgments and cynicism that we have grown so accustomed to. Their minds and hearts are open; they are guided by their intuition and are so in tune with their inner experiences.  This special connection, as I see it, needs to be nurtured so that as they grow they remain in tune with who they are and continue to see and experience the goodness and joy the world has to offer them.  By helping our children to maintain a connection with their higher-selves, we are giving them the means to overcome fears and feelings of isolation.  We are teaching them to discover, accept, trust and love themselves and the world that surrounds them; enabling them to find their unique and special purpose, their contribution to the world.  

There are many ways in which we can help our children hold on to their spiritual affinity and in turn help ourselves too.  In my view there is no hard and fast rule to parenting, or spiritual parenting for that matter. It is about finding what works for your family.  Each child is unique and by being aware, incorporating and embracing our child’s inner experiences in our parenting approach we can connect better with our child.  This is at times a challenging task as it means that we to have to work on our own reactions and belief systems.  However, by bringing awareness to the needs and behavior of all those involved and by quieting our minds long enough to hear our own higher-selves we can find the solutions that will fit us and our children best. By being open to learning how to work with our children we can find a way forward. Active listening is a great tool in gaining insight and knowledge in helping us to teach and guide them through their lives. By finding some time to really listen and focus on our children we are invited to join their world and their experiences.  By aiming to be as open, relaxed and non-judgmental as possible, we allow our children to express themselves fully.

Some of the specific areas you might want to focus on as a spiritual parent include:

Teaching Trust
By always being there for our children we show them that they are taken care of, we give them a sense of faith in us initially and then this can become the foundation to them having faith in others, themselves, and their divinity, whatever their belief system.  This trust allows our children to fully explore and experience their life and all that surrounds them, both physically and spiritually.  

Oneness
Through teaching our children that we are part of everything that surrounds us we show our divinity, and we encourage them to see the meaning and importance in their lives.  Oneness can also help children to empathize with others and have compassion.  Through oneness Children can also feel love for themselves, those around them and the world in which they live.

Virtues
By helping our children understand basic virtues we encourage them to find ways of living happily alongside others.  We are giving them the means to understand the world in which they live, and how to find peace and happiness.  They begin to appreciate that we are all equally important no matter what our differences or our beliefs.  Our children can learn how to make informed choices, by allowing them to consider the consequences of their actions, their needs and the feelings of others.

Intuition
Through helping our children to stay connected to their inner guide, their intuition, is extremely important as it helps them to better understand themselves and their feelings.  This enables them to trust themselves and make decisions that they feel good about.  They can choose that which benefits and supports their highest good, a wonderful ability to have as they go through their lives.

Gratitude
Through gratitude and prayer children become aware of all that they have been blessed with in their lives.  This gives them a positive focus rather than one that comes from negativity and lack.  This positive focus is important for their very well being and it also directly relates to what they are able to create and manifest in their lives. Much has been spoken of the connection between gratitude and the law of attraction in Quantum physics.  Gratitude and prayer also help children to see how they are taken care of, and this giving thanks reinforces their faith and trust in the divine, the higher source, or if you like ‘God’.

Katherine is a mother to two young children who encourage her to be the best mother she can be. Katherine also owns a website http://www.spiritual-affinity.ca, where you can find further information on spiritual parenting as well as various inspirational products designed to help children and their families.

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