Discipline Consistency Matters: Here’s Why

Read about why discipline consistency matters.

Your child is at the age where you and your spouse have to start saying no and come up with some effective strategies for discipline. This is a hard thing for parents to do but discipline is very important and the key to discipline is consistency. The reason consistency is so important is that your child has to understand there are consequences for their actions if they break a rule. Every action gets a reaction and sometimes the reactions can be very negative so it’s important for parents to choose their words and methods of discipline, and work as a team so your child won’t use one parent against the other.

Are you wondering how to get your kids to listen to you and to try and understand why rules exist? How can they become adults with a healthy way of thinking, a great set of values and self-control? Discipline is one of the hardest tasks a parent needs to do while their children are still young.

There always is a lot of controversy about the subject of discipline. Some people compare it to punishment, either physical or psychological. But discipline can be a way of setting some boundaries and rules in a child’s life. The behavioral psychologists have found many different ways for rewarding good behavior and ways of dealing with bad behavior.

Discipline can be effective but only when consistency is used. A child sees consistency as something that is predictable and they can easily understand it. With this, they get to learn many lessons they can use later in life.

On the other side, inconsistency teaches children that they are allowed to do what they want and not respect authority because most likely they will get away with it.

The parents perspective feels that consistency has value and forces the parents to think about what is really important to them and their children. It’s highly impossible to be consistent about every little thing but parents have to choose what is important to be consistent about. Maintaining consistency encourages parents to limit the number of rules, keeping the same rules on a daily basis, and respond to the violations of the rules the same way every single time. When parents can commit to consistency, they realize that they have to think before they speak. Choose your words because you want your child to be able to choose their words as they grow up to be adults. Parents should think about behaviors and ask themselves if they are willing to respond to the same behaviors, the same way every single time it happens? If you choose the answer to be yes, then this is a behavior worth addressing.

Consistency in discipline means being firm and showing children that you will follow through. You don’t have to raise your voice to be effective, just follow through in a calm gentle manner but be firm about it. Your child will learn to listen the first time. On the flip side, if your child throws a tantrum for a piece of cake and you give in to the child, you are just reinforcing the facts that tantrums are ok to throw when your child doesn’t get their way. In order to teach your child always stick to your rules and don’t encourage bad behavior. 

There are not any special techniques, but almost any consequence can be effective if it’s used consistently. Some effective strategies are timeouts, taking away something important are all good discipline strategies. Make sure that the consequences are fair and age-appropriate and used fairly and consistently. Discipline is an effective way to help your children learn good behavior, and grow into healthy, self-disciplined adults.

The importance of consistency

Being a consistent parent means to always do what you say you’re going to do and not to have double standards. Children learn that their behaviors will lead to certain outcomes. When their actions repeat and they get the same response from the parent, they will learn that that kind of action is bad or good and they can decide for themselves if they do it again or not.

The four ways of consistency

Parenting is a full-time job, and it requires most of your attention, especially in the first years of your child’s life. But as parents, we know that it is the hardest job of all. We sometimes forget, are tired, have a lot of stress at work and don’t always have the energy when we get home for handling the children. It is not an easy task but we prepared a list of ideas that can be helpful:

One at a time

Always start with one behavior, and after that go onto the next one. You don’t want to experience your child getting confused and mixed up or maybe frustrated. Successful parents start off with behaviors that are more universal like stealing, using bad vocabulary, school issues, and bedtime. Once they learn about these subjects, you can explain other issues.

Positive Self Talk

Before starting any life lessons with your children, make a plan in your head and ask yourself what do you want to achieve. What do you want to teach your kids so their inappropriate behaviors don’t happen anymore? And how can you do that every time the issues arise? Remember to do everything with kindness and patience.

Try new things

Don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t succeed at the first attempt. It is not that easy for anyone. Sometimes you’ll be very tired from work or stressed out. If you have trouble staying consistent, try to find out why. Maybe make a plan and try to remind yourself of the main things you need to stick to. Boundaries always help with these kinds of problems.

Take Care of Yourself

Parenting can sometimes be really exhausting. Feel free to take a break when you are stressed out, or when you don’t know the solution to the problem right away. Take some time to think of a good answer to their question with simply stating that you need to think about it. Each day, try to find a little time for yourself. Talking with your husband, wife or your friends can be beneficial. You can even ask some of your friends for advice and see how they handle these matters. Also, have in mind that talking to a professional is always an option.

Why Consistency Matters

In parenting, consistency is one of the things that matter the most. Remember how you told your child not to cross the street when the red light is on? And after that, you are taking them to school and you are very late and you cross the street on a red light just because you are in a hurry. So if he does that same thing, will you get mad or punish him for that behavior? Rules and limits are important for you as a parent and also for your child, so staying consistent with your values and teachings can be of great importance for your child in his adult life. It’s not a bad thing if you make a mistake but always try and discuss it with them. You’ll see that the rewards from consistency will be great and beneficial for you and your little one.