Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Consistency in Parenting: It’s Not Always Easy

I met a woman who had been a professional nanny for several years. I asked for her thoughts about successful child-rearing. She said parents must be on the same page, be consistent, and have appropriate rewards and punishments.

It seems like such a simple and obvious message, but it’s so important to remember yet so easy to "forgive and forget" a little too soon.

Have you ever looked at your child’s face, knowing he or she deserves to be grounded and you start feeling sorry for them? Maybe you cut them a little slack, let them watch a little TV or play a game. Before you know it, they’re not grounded and not thinking about whatever they did or didn’t do.

Maybe you had a family party planned and you felt the punishment could wait till after the party, and once the party is over, you start to forget the child’s punishment or it seems silly to enforce when you’ve just had a great time.

It isn’t always easy to be consistent as a parent and it is very easy to feel sorry for your child, to identify with the feeling of punishment rather than remember to correct the child’s behavior.

It’s important to keep your eyes on your child’s future, not just the current situation. If you want your child to eventually understand the rules of society, how to be a good employee, how to be a good spouse and parent, that child needs to first understand your family rules and parents must have the rules and enforce them consistently.

Your child will test you at times – that’s what they do! Having these rules won’t prevent every problem but this will help avoid many issues.

No comments:

Post a Comment