We all know it – Being consistent is important as a parent. But we also know it is one of the biggest challenges we face – and it is one of the biggest guilts we deal with. But what does consistency look like? We tend to see it as being 100 percent the same – always; but, that can look like legalism or being authoritarian. Out of reaction to that we swing the pendulum the other way – and find ourselves as inconsistent! There has to be a balance, a middle road somewhere that makes consistency doable without the guilt for being human.

The Constant Battle To Be A Consistent Parent

As our children grew older and we continued to study growing in character, one of the things I learnt was that different traits, or responses, feed into each other, you cannot have one without the other; no character trait stands on its own. There is always balance as different traits intertwine with each other.

So consistency is about doing the right thing time after time after time.  Regularly.  Being reliable.  

But it needs to interact with flexibility.

Flexibility is the idea of being able to adjust as required.

When there is too much focus on consistency we lose focus on relationship and we become legalistic and we pressure ourselves to reach the standard of perfection. 

When there is too much focus on flexibility, we become wishy-washy, pushover parents who don’t stand firm on anything and who always give in to their kids or circumstances. 

There has to be a balance. An intertwining of those character-based responses as we respond in family life.   

Defining Consistency

It is important that we understand what a realistic understanding of consistency is if we are going to try and do it.  

So I said before that consistency is about doing the right thing time after time after time.

Parenting is so often focused on helping our children grow toward maturity that we forget that we are also still on a journey toward maturity.  We want to be consistent in holding our children to the boundaries we set in our family, but we are still learning the parenting muscles of consistency that is needed.  And that is okay.

Yes, we want to be consistent, but yes, we are growing the muscles to be consistent.  Both can be true.  

We will make mistakes, we will let things slide – and then we’ll realise and want to pull things back into line.  And it is in that moment that we’ll be down on ourselves for not being consistent – and yet it is in that moment that we gain the impetus to grow stronger to be more consistent next time.  Each time you realise that you let go of the things you want for your family, you’ll push through a little further next time.  This is how we grow.

Isn’t that what we tell our kids?  Pick yourself up and keep on working on it!  It’s true for them, and it has to be true for us as well.

Consistency is a character trait, a values based choice that we are growing in.  Lets be real about our journey and not slow ourselves down with guilt.  Apologise if you’ve hurt your kids by your inconsistency and keep on working on it.  

Common Challenges in Maintaining Consistency

Our consistency gets challenged for a few reasons (you may relate to one or more of these)

  1. We struggle to know the balancing between mercy and grace and consequences that our children need to grow in understanding what is right and how to do right. So we oscillate between giving rules and consequences and then letting things slide.  This creates an inconsistency dance.
  2. Busyness distracts from follow through – we tell our kids to do something, or we tell t hem the way it is going to be, and then we get distracted and we don’t notice until it is too late and we just shrug and say maybe next time I’ll do it right.
  3. Consistency is a struggle when our spouse parents from a different perspective.  That makes us lose heart and it is easier to let things slide.
  4. Being emotionally and/or physically tired is probably the biggest reason we don’t hold firm and mean what we say and say what we mean.  (and I have the answer to this one in a little bit)

Strategies to be a Consistent Parent

Even though there are different solutions to each of those struggles here are 5 ways that can help you be more consistent – or in other words, grow your consistency muscles!

1–Know the values you want to build into your family. Know what those values look like in every day life.  Know how you are going to teach these things to your kids.  This is the very heart of all that I teach here on the heart-focused parenting podcast and in the Heart Booster emails.  We need to know the beliefs and values we want to teach our kids.

2–Know and expect there to be conflict with your child ( afterall, this is why we need to be consistent!).  The first point was to know what values you want to teach your kids to live by, but this point is saying – expect them to push back on you BUT know how you are going to handle a negative response to your instruction. When you know in advance how you want to respond and what you want to say, you reduce the opportunity to let something slide, you are prepared, and are more likely to be consistent with what you’ve said or decided on.

3- Pick your battles – know what needs working on in your life, your kids life, or your family life collectively – and don’t try to work on them all at the same time. Limit yourself to a few battles or issues at any one time – and know what those battles are specifically.  Once you know the battles you are going to focus on you can be more consistent with those issues, and the other issues just can’t be a priority for the moment.  There will be time enough to deal with those other things at another time; but for right now know the issues you are going to focus on, the issues you are going to spend heart-focused time dealing with.

4–Keep reminders around the house – I used to have posters hanging on my walls that reminded me of the Biblical truth, or moral truth of what we are working. So often my eyes would glance at what I had put up there and I would be able to catch myself and step up to parent how I really wanted to.  I found that I needed to refresh those posters every so often otherwise they become a part of the furniture and I stopped seeing  them as a reminder to respond to life the way I wanted to!  (Download your own set of Reminder Posters)

5–Look after yourself so you are physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually able to be consistent. Teaching and training is exhausting – we have to be up for the task (and if we aren’t, then we need to make that a priority).  This is just like the air hostess (or stewards as they are now called) say in the safety message of any flight – fix your own oxygen mask before you help someone else.  If you aren’t able to be consistent due to your health and well being you won’t be consistent.  So work on yourself first – make that a priority.

Heart-Focused Parenting Action Step

The foundational work that will help you be consistent is for you to know what is important to you.  If something is important – you’ll make it happen.

This quote, “We know what a person thinks, not when he tells us what he thinks, but by his actions” – Isaac Basheuis Singer, has challenged me many times when I consider the choices I make.

I say this all the time – 

What we believe, affects what we think, 

What we think, affects what we feel,

What we feel, affects our choices.

So it is so important that you know what you believe and value so you can pass that onto your kids.  

I’m not just talking about Jesus and the Cross here – though of course our belief in God’s love and gift of salvation shapes everything (a core belief which then shapes our thoughts, feelings, and choices!)  But we need to know what we believe and value about

Family, parenting, children

About community and education

About health and technology

About every facet of life – because the bottom line is – if you want to teach your children to make wise choices you need to know the premise of those wise choices.  

You need to teach your children to believe in God and to process their beliefs, values, thoughts, feelings, choices through that filter.  But it all starts with you doing that very same thing.  

So your heart-focused parenting action step this week is to talking about beliefs and values and how they impact your choices.  Talk about the beliefs and values that are connected to the choices that your children are having to make – regardless of their age. As you start talking about them maybe with your spouse, or with another mum friend, then you will start to find the words that you will then be able to use to teach that to your kids.

Parenting isn’t about just getting our kids to behave well – it is about helping our kids establish a belief system that is in keeping with the Word of God.  And that is our motivation for being consistent!

Build your Reminder Wall

Free Printable Posters for Parents

Guard your heart and your actions with these Reminder Posters

0 Comments

Let me know your thoughts...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Follow on Social Media:

 

The download link is on it's way.

Individual Education Planning Worksheets - brainstorming every area of your child's life.

Get your Planning Worksheets

I will email you the download link so you can start looking at all the different spheres of your child's life before you make any curriculum choices. 

The download link is on it's way.

An Alternative to Chocolate

An Alternative to Chocolate

Not that I have anything against chocolate - but these jelly beans can help your kids share the message of Jesus, his love, death and resurrection at Easter time.  

The download link is on it's way.

Parent Guide: How to make your Family Bible Study Really Work

Family Bible Study is Tricky with all the Different Ages

 

But there is a way to make this a rich learning and bonding family time.  This Guide includes tips, planning worksheet, and discussion prompts.  

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Download yourCharacter Certificates

Though true character is driven by internal motivation, our children will appreciate when we see that they are growing in character.

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Download your Character Certificates

Though true character is driven by internal motivation, our children will appreciate when we see that they are growing in character.

The download link is on it's way.

Download your Cheat Sheet

 

A quick reference to help you discern between a heart attitude and a lack of skill for when your child loses it!

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on its way.

Make God your First Response

Print out this parenting reminder to call out to God in the middle of the moment.

I'm excited to share this download with you. Watch your inbox.

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

I will email you the download link.

The download link is on it's way.

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

You will receive an email shortly with the details. Watch your inbox.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Download Parenting Poster

Download Parenting Poster

Learn to respond to your child in a way that changes their heart.

 

I will email you the download link.

The download link is on it's way.

Download Parenting Poster

Download Parenting Poster

 

Learn to respond to your child in a way that changes their heart.

 

I will email you the download link.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Our children hear different words when we react to when we respond. Do your children hear blah blah blah when you correct them? Includes a parenting poster.

Download Parenting Poster

 

When we Respond instead of React we find a way to deal with the heart not just behaviour.

 

I will email you the download link.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Download Character Lesson Guide

You will receive an email shortly with the details. Watch your inbox.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

When family relationships get tense - look for the niggles.

Heart Focused Parenting Resource for the Intentional Parent

 

Your download will arrive in your inbox shortly. 

Print it out and use to teach the hearts of your kids.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Free Email Course

Daily emails  (6 days) to help you walk towards being a heart focused homeschool family!

You have joined the email course. Watch your email inbox!

Find ways to Re-engage your Student

Download this checklist and stir your child's curiosity

Watch your Inbox - the Checklist is on it's way!

FREE Parenting Worksheet

This worksheet will help you move from addressing behaviour to really parenting the heart, one issue at a time.

 

 

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Personal growth starts with an honest assessment

The download link is on it's way. Please check your email.

Give Effective Consequences

Think before you React

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

 

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

One Another Verses

Be Intentional in the Teen Years

Use this Cheat Sheet to remind you of how you can love your teen.

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

#14 Heart Booster from Resource Library

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

Download your copy

Download your copy

Blending Life and Lessons - and start your journey of changing your thinking about education.

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

Download: One Another Verses pdf

Download this list of One Another verses and teach your children how to love others.

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

Raising Kids with Character

ATTEND LIVE : FREE PARENTING WORKSHOP

A bonus for Heart Booster readers:  Learn how to teach character to your kids so that they can live their lives making values-based choices.

 

Live Session:  5th May 2021, 6.30pm AWST

Replay available until 16th May 2021

 

I'm so excited about this workshop - thanks for joining me!

Raising Kids with Character

REPLAY OPTION : FREE PARENTING WORKSHOP

A bonus for Heart Booster readers:  Learn how to teach character to your kids so that they can live their lives making values-based choices.

 

Replay available from 6th May until 16th May 2021

 

I'm so excited about this workshop - thanks for joining me!

Raising Kids with Character

WAITLIST

 

The Raising Kids with Character parenting workshop will be offered again this year - details yet to be confirmed.  Join the waitlist so you don't miss out. 

I will keep in you in the loop as soon as decisions have been made!

Bonus Reading list

 

Sharing my Homeschool Belief File

Knowing what you believe and why about education and homeschooling helps you make good decisions.

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

Build your Family Routine
Starter Kit:

Assess and Plan how to use your time wisely with this worksheet bundle.

Instant download, and then join the Heart Boost Weekly, by confirming in your email.

Success! An email link is being sent to you!

Success! An email is on it's way!

Free email course

... delivered to your email inbox

Success! An email is on it's way!

Download: Family Devotional Activities (PDF)

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

Download:Workshop Resource

This is a digital product. Download and print - but please don't share. 

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

#21 Heart Booster from Resource Library

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

Free email course

... delivered to your email inbox

Success! An email is on it's way!

FreePrintable Posters

... delivered to your email inbox

Success! An email is on it's way!

Download:Parenting Reminder Posters (PDF)

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

Success! An email is on it's way!