How Consistency Improves Kids’ Behavior?7 min read
Consistency is one of the most admirable traits that a human being can possess. Being consistent is always the key to achieving the goals you have set for yourself. Consistency also helps bring about healthier relationships.
As a parent you always want your child to be obedient and well-behaved, especially in public. But how can you improve your child’s behavior? You’ve guessed it, it can only be achieved through consistency! We don’t necessarily realize this but consistency is actually favorable to both children as well as adults. In this article we will go through the importance of being consistent and how it improves your child’s behavior.
What is Consistency? How does Consistency help Children?
To be consistent is to follow through with your words and to neither give in nor give up when the going gets tough. It requires your words and your actions to be in total alignment with each other. Consistency is setting certain routines and boundaries. When you have a consistent approach to disciplining your kids, it not only helps you but also them to be more in control of their behavior and actions.
Consistency will require you to follow through with what you said you would do, even if it gets hard when the time to do it actually comes. Refusing to allow your kids a second and third chance when they break the rules is your way of showing them that you are firm about the consequences you warned them about and that constantly breaking the rules is not acceptable.
When parents give in to the demands of their children simply because they’re exhausted or have no energy to deal with the issue at hand, children will get the message that if they just push hard enough, they will continue to get what they want or get away with something they don’t want to do.
Children like limits but they also love to break those limits. Being consistent will help you to set boundaries for your children and make it clear that they are not supposed to go further than a certain point. When you are clear with what you expect from them and how things will play out if they overstep, it helps your kids to feel a sense of safety. This may sound surprising and it doesn’t mean that your child will not try to push your buttons or see if you eventually change your mind and give in. But when a child’s safety or security is threatened due to unplanned events or unexpected situations, it is these consistent routines that will help them. With time and discipline your child will indeed come to find safety in your consistency.
It is important for you to teach your children how to behave and provide them with clear systems to follow. If this is not done well, children will be more inclined to misbehave in public spaces or behave poorly overall. Many children may not even consider their or others’ safety.
No matter how small your child is, don’t make the mistake of underestimating him/her! When children see one parent not giving in to their demands and tantrums, they will find ways to get around the other parent. This is why it is important for both parents to be at par when it comes to disciplining and setting boundaries. Make sure your child knows that he cannot have his way and that he needs to learn to adhere to the rules that are set for his own good.
Children will know what to expect when parents are consistent with their reactions. However, if you give in to them because you feel bad or you’re too tired or you cannot help but melt when you look into their puppy eyes, then be ready for them to continue to take advantage of your inconsistency and not take you seriously in the future.
Making those extra efforts to be consistent especially at times when you’re just trying to get through the day is what will help you to raise your children to be secure and confident. When you as a parent are consistent with your parenting, rest assured that your child will greatly benefit from it and produce more consistent behaviors.
How can you be Consistent with your Child?
Now that you understand what it means to be consistent and how it will help your child in the long run, let us look at some things you can do to put it into practice.
Some measures that you can take in order to be consistent with your child are:
- Be consistent with your Routines
- Communicate expectations clearly
- Prioritize certain behaviors and focus on them
- Actions speak louder than words
- Work with your spouse as a team
How does this help? Let’s take a look below.
Be Consistent with your Routines
As a parent it is important for you to be well-aware of your own as well as your child’s schedules and create routines that will help everyone to be consistent. Having proper routines in place especially for challenging times of the day like mealtimes and bedtimes will prove effective.
Based on how old your kids are, give them the opportunity to do some things for themselves like brushing their teeth or setting their bed every morning. Handing out responsibilities will help your kids to understand what is expected of them and that they are accountable for the tasks assigned to them. This will push them to be keener to get the job done.
Talk about the routine you have created with your child. Help them to understand that on days when they don’t want to or can’t follow it, that they can come to you and find encouragement.
Communicate Expectations clearly
Communication is so important in any relationship and when you are a parent, you need to pay added attention to how you communicate with your child. Having a proper conversation with children about what is expected of them will help to give them a sense of direction. Kids will behave more appropriately when they know what is expected of them and what is not appreciated.
Furthermore, very often parents tend to expect their child to know how to deal with unexpected changes without realizing that if not communicated clearly, change can be challenging for a child. So, when there are changes in your normal plan make sure to talk it out with your child so that he/she will be prepared and better equipped to cope with the changes.
Prioritize certain Behaviors and Focus on them
As a parent it is difficult to consistently deal with every single time your child behaves poorly, but what you can do is prioritize certain behaviors and completely focus on being consistent with those. Constantly remind yourself that you must not give into your child when he’s throwing a tantrum or being stubborn. Stand your ground and other behaviors will slowly fall into place as well.
Actions speak Louder than Words
Sometimes when parents keep repeating things to their children when they misbehave rather than acting out the consequences, children begin to think that it’s okay for them to do whatever pleases them because they will get away with it with a simple scolding. Being consistent with setting consequences for certain behaviors will help your child to know that he cannot take advantage.
It might get really difficult to stand your ground in certain moments as your kid will throw a tantrum or make a scene. But staying firm will pay off in the long run because your child will realize and understand that you mean what you say and that you won’t budge.
Work with your Spouse as a Team
It is very common for children to have one parent be strict with them while the other pampers and gives in to their every want. Make sure that you have a conversation with your spouse and come to an agreement on various topics like the use of gadgets, play time, discipline methods etc. No parent likes to be the bad guy, so back your spouse and show your kids that you won’t give in.
If you’re struggling with being consistent today, please don’t give up. While consistency takes discipline and hard choices, always remember that consistency is key. You’re doing the right thing for your child and it will definitely pay off in the long run. A consistent parent will always raise confident, secure and mannerly children.