Consistency is one of the most important yet most difficult principles of parenting. Consistently conforming to a regular pattern of rules and routines is not as easy as it sounds. Parents are humans, and we have this strong inclination to get off track–especially when we are exhausted. Engaging in a battle with our kids over TV time, dinner etiquette, gadget use, etc. is really the last thing we would want to do when we get home after a long day’s work.
However, as difficult as it is, there is a great need for us to always make sure that rules and expectations are the same from one time to another. When we give our children leeway when it comes to keeping routines and following rules, the more likely it is for them to test us, test the boundaries, and push the limits. We need to be hold our ground all the time or our children may be confused which actions are appropriate or which behaviors are acceptable and which aren’t.
So whenever you think leniency or giving in is the easiest way out of a battle with your child, think again. It may be what’s most convenient option for you at the moment, but these little acts of inconsistency will create devastating consequences in the long run.
Here is another mother’s take on consistency that is worth reading: Consistency in Parenting.