Children’s behaviour and why being consistent is so important
Children’s behaviour and being consistent may sound easy. Actually the reality of being consistent whatever circumstances you encounter is easier said than done.
Time pressures, circumstances and our own lack of confidence may sabotage our best efforts in providing consistency towards our kids and this in turn undermines our authority to call the shots when we really need to.
Lack of consistency with our children’s behaviour often comes about because we believe our current strategy isn’t working, so we adopt a new strategy or even worse just give up and give in.
Then we are back to square one. No improvement in the particular parenting challenge we are facing and a feeling that we are useless or failing in someway.
Consistence and perseverance
Educationalists will tell you that consistency is the bedrock of good teaching and one of the fundamental strategies that are adopted to turn round failing schools. And I am sure the same goes for parenting and children’s behaviour.
So hopefully I have sold you on consistency. But what about the strategy? “How can I possibly manage to be more consistent and stick to my guns when we are sitting in in a public place and all hell is about to break out,” I hear you ask.
What are your rules?
Are they reasonable, fair and workable. How will you enforce the spirit of your rules in a public place, when you may not be able to send your child to sit on the naughty step or there is no place to take time out to calm down.
Do you and your partner have the same views on what you consider is acceptable behaviour? If not then whatever the age of the child this can lead to discord both with your partner and your child.
Work out the rules. Agree them and be prepared to compromise so you are both singing from the same page is the first step.
Think about the times when you are most challenged. Stick to your guns and work out a strategy to deal with these situations before they arise.
Use the five minute rule
Delay a confrontation, by diverting your child’s attention, will mean you are not seen to be caving in. This is particularly useful strategy with toddlers.
The five minute warning
This is a good strategy to adopt when you need your children to take action. For example, leaving a friends house, or getting ready to go to school.
Buy yourself time
Find that you are being bounced into making a decisions. Don’t be. Stock answer should be “I need to give that some thought”.
Like with most things in life – a little forward planning will help you manage difficult situations. This will help you to present the same consistent message all the time.