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One of the biggest hurdles to overcome when parenting is the ability to remain consistent. Tiredness, busy lives and trying to keep the peace mean parents are constantly having to fight against the urge to buckle under pressure and give in to their child or teens demands.
When I talk to parent’s I regularly hear the same question – “Why can’t I get my children to do what I ask them to do?” This seems to be the dilemma of many parents and I often find it’s a question that can be resolved with a consistent parenting plan. After talking with parents, I usually find there is a really good plan in place with regard to rules, boundaries and consequences for inappropriate behaviour, however implementing the plan consistently is often a problem. It’s easy to come up with a plan, but much harder to make it happen when you are feeling tired, frustrated and cranky.
Children and teens learn through rehearsal and repetition. They need clear and consistent guidelines in order to make good decisions and be able to predict what will happen if they behave inappropriately. Without clear guidelines, they become confused about what is expected of them, the lines between right and wrong become blurred and they learn to play parents against one another in order to get their own way. The end result is usually increased frustration and conflict within the family.
Some tips to help with consistent parenting include;
There’s no doubt about it, parenting with consistency isn’t easy when you are feeling tired, frustrated and under pressure. Be reassured though, if you can stand strong and stick to your plan, both you and your children will reap the rewards. As hard as it may be to begin with, consistent parenting will significantly help you to gain the co-operation of your child or teen and also help you to develop more respectful, loving and trusting relationships with them.
If you feel counselling could help you to develop a consistent parenting plan, please don’t hesitate to contact Karen Cummins at Mindful Crossroads counselling services on 0400 416 535, or fill in the “Contact” section on the Mindful Crossroads website to arrange a confidential discussion.