Theme for April: Change
Consistency, is a word often associated with parenting. The verse, “Let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’and your ‘No’ be ‘No’ (Matthew 5: 37) has largely been misunderstood. This statement actually refers to being a person of integrity, one who keeps his word and speaks the truth.
Many parents find consistency difficult. Always trying to give the same responses, rewards, or consequences for similar situations. Trying to train the same everyday and every way from potty training to driver training. It is an impossible task. It can’t be done. Why? The human factor and life circumstances. Go ahead….breathe a sigh of relief. Flexibility and creativity are the name of the game.
So you ask, “What if I’ve delivered a punishment, don’t I have to carry it through to the end?”
Answer, “Nope.” Just because you said it, doesn’t mean you can’t unsay it. There are times when we get-overzealous in our reaction. When we do, it’s time to pull back and readjust.
The best way to deal with behavior you’d like to tweak (notice I said behavior not offspring) is to find a way to train for desirable behavior. Rather than use an old stand-by punishment such as timeout or being grounded for life-practice the better behavior. For example, if your child is disrespectful don’t dismiss him to isolation – instead have him restate his words with respect. If a parent gets all worked up and easily offended the child has not only figured out what buttons to push but has also gained the upper hand. Obviously this is to be avoided.
Parenting Tip: Be consistent went it comes to your promises, faith, morals, values, safety, and legal issues. In all other situations-be creative, flexible and then train.
© LoriWildenberg. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Lori Wildenberg is a licensed parent and family educator, parent coach, and co-founder of 1Corinthians13 Parenting.com. She has written 6 books including Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home; The Messy Life of Parenting: Powerful and Practical Ways to Strengthen Family Connections; and her most recent book, Messy Hope: Help Your Child Overcome Anxiety, Depression, or Suicidal Ideation. Contact Lori for your next event or for parent consulting or parent training courses. Lori can also be found mentoring over at the MOMS Together Group on Facebook.