Being consistent when disciplining your child can be a tough road to travel. As I read over a blog post I wrote for HuffPost Parents, 6 Proven Methods for Inspiring Your Children to Behave, I was struck with the thought of discipline – and what is really most important in disciplining a child. And what’s most effective in disciplining is consistency. You have to be consistent. No matter what your strategy, no matter what you aim to teach your child, you must do the same thing almost every time in order to see the results you want in your child’s behavior.
If you are tired, running late, in the middle of something else, not in the mood – you still have to be consistent with what you’ve said and the patterns you’ve established. Being consistent is the only way for your child to form the habits that will lead to more positive behaviors. It is also essential to your child knowing what to expect from you and in the consequences of their actions.
Here are The 3 best tips to be more consistent when disciplining your child:
- Choose your battles – You cannot over-regulate. If you have too many rules, and consequences for almost every action your child does, then disciplining will become too difficult. You have to make sure that you are fighting the battles that truly need to be addressed; and not getting so wrapped up in controlling every situation that you make up rules that no child could ever follow.
- Always follow-thru – If you say you are going to do something, you must actually do it. Never threaten with consequences that you are not prepared to carry-out. This is a key component of being consistent. If you regularly fail to make good on your promises, your child will learn how to manipulate you, rather than how to behave properly.
- Never give in – Stay strong! Never give in to the whining, begging, or pleading. The “next time I will listen” or the “I won’t do it again.” If you don’t show your child that these tactics don’t work, and show them early on that you will not respond in their favor, then you will become a victim to their will every time.
Discipline is tough. Being consistent is even tougher. But consistency is the most important key to any disciplining strategy. Set limits, give your child effective consequences that are appropriate for the situation, and follow-thru with your enforcement of the rules. Make note of what works best in inspiring your children to behave and repeat it consistently to help your children form good behavior habits.