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Lesson 4: Inconsistency



In the first installment of this series, I introduced this series where I will cover the core principles behind Terrific Parenting.

I will explain how you can build optimism, nurture responsibility in your home and eliminate negative patters.

The first principles we discussed was the principle of clarity. If you missed it, click here: Principle 2: Nothing Works Well Without Consistency.

For most parents who visit me at my office, they have read books, talked to neighbors and friends and generally are well-educated in the world of parenting. Unfortunately, too many begin the initial conversation with something like, “Well, I know I should be more consistent, but I just get distracted/overwhelmed/exhausted/confused….”

How many of us can relate to that? I can. And…I suspect most of you can as well.

This consistency issue become critical as you move from the easy child with the gentle temperament to the more challenging, oppositional and difficult child. Easy kids demand little, and allow us to be relatively sloppy in our parenting.

More challenging kids (such as those with ADD or a strong-willed nature) demand more from us. It’s as if their arrival in our lives is a statement from the ‘universe’ that says, “Time to step up Mom/Dad! You can’t be sloppy!”

I can’t emphasize this point enough. Too often, I hear parents, or even see writers, who are discussing the miracles of a laize a fair approach that worked ‘great’ on their daughter. Yet, when you hear more details, you learn that this child was always easy, seemingly motivated and adjusted well to things.

This is great! As I said, when you have a child with a gentle and easy temperment, who is motivated to please mom or dad… life seems easy.

This changes dramatically when the more challenging child shows up. (No sleep. Resists everything. You say white…they say black. Constantly challenging limits.)

These children need more precision…more accuracy in your parenting game plan.

Too often, things also change with the ‘easy’ child as time goes on. Particularly when we are sloppy and inconsistent. Such inconsistency (almost) always comes back to ‘bite us’ in the end. As this series continues, I will explain why this is true…as well as why consistency in your parenting will save you sleepless nights and save EVEN the most easy child from false learning about how reality works.

For now however, please know that consistency in your parenting approach is critical to your family’s success.

Here’s a little tip: The secret to consistency is keeping it simple.

Simple means that you don’t make decisions on the fly, or in the moment.

It means that when you have clarity, you don’t have to pause, hesitate and think about what to do. You know what to do, and you do it.

The more complex the plan, the more likely the pause or hesitation.

The more we keep it simple, and focused on the fundamentals that really work, it will be easier to remain consistent. There is a daily structure (that I will teach you) that will keep this all relatively simple, and we will discuss that more in the future.

For now, remember that you can always email me at ParentingHelp@TerrificParenting.com if you have more questions. I look forward to sharing more with you soon.