Youth learn through repetition and rehearsal, whether it’s their ABCs or the way they are supposed to behave. For this reason, consistency and structure are critical for your youth to learn how to predict your own behavior (and thus their teachers, friends, family, employers in the future). They need to know how you will react when they don’t clean their room, or eat their dinner, and that reaction needs to be the same. Predictability is one of the cornerstones of our society, it’s why we like to have schedules, make appointments and keep calendars. When the rules stay the same, a child can internalize them and make them a part of themselves. When the rules change, it causes anxiety and youth act out in different ways (we have all seen these behaviors: defiant, reclusive, combative, the list goes on). But you can become more consistent and still maintain a great bond with your youth. If not for your sanity (a very good reason by itself) do it for their future relationships and success stories.
Challenge: This week, identify one behavior that causes you to react in different ways. Sit down and figure out how you want to deal with this issue in the future and stick to it.
YOU CAN DO THIS!