Consistency is key when it comes to disciplining your child; kids need to be able to understand how you will behave in certain situations in order for them not to misbehave. It acts like a comfort blanket to your child and inconsistency can make them feel insecure and confused.
Here are five tips to ensure you stay consistent with your discipline:
Don’t tackle every discipline challenge
Try to stick to focusing in on one or two areas of misbehaviour rather than trying to tackle them all head on. If you do, you may become overwhelmed and won’t be able to stick to any. When situations of defiance, be it refusing to go to bed or demanding sweets, you need to be on top of them every single time. Don't give in and don't reward them.
Change won’t happen overnight
It can take time to tackle misbehaviour and change won’t happen overnight; but, if you stick with it, it will pay off.
Expect your little one to kick up
Your child will challenge you no matter how consistent you are. This kind of behaviour is just your youngster testing you. Once you accept it as normal, their behaviour will become less frustrating and you will be able to stay on the right track.
Leave reminders for yourself
Leave sticky notes around your house to remind you how you want to handle situations. These will come in handy when you are tired or in a hurry and your mind is a bit muffled.
When you're too busy or preoccupied to enforce a rule you send the message that the misbehaviour is important to you. But when you let your child know in advance that you’ve chosen to make an exception you will help to strengthen a rule.
Allow yourself a time-out if you are feeling overwhelmed. This will also give you time to come up with a response. Before you leave the situation, inform your little one that you can’t answer them
Before you give in, ask yourself what will likely happen if you let the behaviour slide just this once; always think about your long-term goal and what might happen over time if you don’t stay consistent.