We all know that consistency is the key to effective parenting. We hear this advice all the time from parenting experts. The problem is actually following through on being consistent with our family rules and consequences EVERY TIME OUR CHILD ACTS OUT.
The problem with not being consistent is that our kids see this as a “loophole” in not having to obey us. Why should they obey us if we SAY we will punish them for breaking a family rule, but we FAIL to actually do it?
As parents, we communicate the importance of our family values by our actions – not our words. Therefore, it is extremely important to follow through on instruction, consequences, and one-on-one interactions with our children in order to show them that we are serious.
In my experience, parents want to be consistent, but they find it extremely difficult to parent 24/7. Below, I have listed the top 6 excuses that parents use to justify why they were not consistent with their parenting and how YOU can overcome these tempting excuses.
1. This is a special/new/different/unique circumstance and I don’t have to be consistent here. Wrong! Each parenting dilemma will NEVER be exactly the same so stay focused on what’s important here. Figure out what needs to be done in the situation. Did your child break a rule? Then follow through with the consequences. Did you child have an argument with their best friend? Give them some one-on-one time so you can help them problem-solve a way to mend the situation. Good Modern Parents think on their feet!
2. I’m too tired/I’ve had a long day. Let me be honest with you: parenting is NEVER convenient. Chances are, the more tired you are, the more likely you will have kids fighting with each other, dinner burning in the oven, and your boss moving up your deadline on your latest project – all on the same day.
The silver lining to all of this is that if you go to the effort of dealing with the chaos now, you ensure that it doesn’t get worse. Think of your family chaos as a leaky pipe in your house. If you deal with the leak now, then you don’t have a flooded house that will require more time and money to repair. Just try reminding yourself of this fact during those exhausting times.
3. It’ll make my child mad/sad/frustrated/won’t like me. Parenting just isn’t a popularity contest. At times, your child will not like you and you need to learn how to handle your feelings when this happens. During these times, remember that their anger with you is only temporary and that the pride you will feel when your child develops into an awesome adult lasts a lifetime.
4. My partner or ex does not care, so why should I? I have seen both married parents and single parents use this excuse. It doesn’t matter if your spouse doesn’t back you up or your ex has a completely OPPOSITE rule at their house. You just can’t wait around for someone to back you up as a parent – you have to take action NOW. If your child needs parenting, follow through on the task.
5. I tried this ONCE and it didn’t work. I hear this one over and over all the time from my clients at the clinic where I work. I wish there were magic “parenting words” that immediately changed a child’s behavior, but that’s just not how parenting works. It’s frustrating that every child is different – some will “get it” on the first try, but others need you to try 10, 15, 20 times – but ultimately life will be better in your family if you don’t give up!
6. I don’t know what to do, so I won’t do anything. This makes sense, but it’s still not a good excuse. You HAVE to deal with your child’s inappropriate behavior – ignoring it will only encourage that behavior to continue.
The solution to this excuse is to have a PARENTING PLAN in place so that you know IN THE MOMENT how to parent. A PARENTING PLAN is created based upon your personal passions, values, and beliefs so that you always know how to parent in the heat of the moment.
I feel strongly that all Modern Parents should have a parenting plan in place in order to parent effectively, and that is why I am releasing this training course for free.
By identifying the common parenting excuses that tend to get in the way of effective, consistent parenting, you are taking the first step in eliminating the excuses and conquering the problem. Calm, successful families have parents who go to the hard work to be consistent every day. You can do it – I know you can!