(Continued thread from last month’s “Tips of the Trade: Consistency Molds Our Youth”)
Despite its importance, consistency is one of the most difficult areas for many parents. As humans, we get frustrated, annoyed, run out of time, or simply don’t have the energy that day to enforce the rules. Sometimes, it’s just easier to do it (what you’ve asked your youth to do) yourself then to repeat something you’ve said a hundred times before. Despite the difficulty, consistency is worth the effort!
If a youth is punished for not cleaning his room one day; and then the next day, his parent does it for him, what does he learn? He learns that nothing “adults” do is predictable. He will not be able to see and internalize the consistent values, skills, and experiences that make up someone’s behavior. Problem solving and social skills won’t come naturally (as the internalization, rehearsal, and repetition of such simple tasks) IF the opportunity for those skills to be learned is absent. Don’t short change your youth because it seems easier now, because in the long run, it won’t be.
Challenge: Take sometime for yourself this week so you are better equipped with the energy you need to take on the little things this week.