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Parenting Advice: Consistency Works

There are few words of advice more important in parenting than "consistency." Parents have to apply consistent discipline, be consistent with rules, be consistent between parents, and apply consistent routines. Kids thrive on routine, and consistence is part of that. Kids need to know what to expect, what is right and wrong, and consistency is a key factor in helping kids thrive. Kids learn early on how to manipulate parents. There isn't a parent alive that hasn't been worn down by a begging, pleading, tantrum-throwing child. The occasional cave-in won't likely produce a spoiled, confused child, but consistent inconsistencies are not beneficial for you or your child.

Parenting Rules

Rules have to make sense, they have to be clear, and they have to be consistently applied. Make sure that you explain rules to your child and that you enforce them consistently. Explain what will happen if the rules are broken, and stick to your guns.

Routines for Children

Kids thrive on routine. It helps them feel safe. Knowing automatically what will happen helps kids establish patterns that they can predict. Work toward establishing consistent routines for bedtime, naptime, mornings, and more.

Parenting Techniques

Your child has probably learned by now that what he can't get from one parent he may be able to get from the other. Even if you are divorced, parenting must remain consistent. The rules and routines may be slightly different between households, but the more they are the same, the better your child will fare. Even if both parents are in the same house, they may not be on the same page as far as applying consistent rules and routines. Work together to establish a set of rules you can all live with and routines that are best for your child. You may not agree on everything, but you'll have to agree to be consistent even if you don't always agree with each other.