Consistency is a huge challenge for every parent.
Being consist of what we want to teach our children takes a lot of thoughtfulness, planning, and grit. Especially since children develop so quickly!
As a parent, I’ve found two things to be vital to in my journey towards consistency. They are:
1) Educate yourself on your child’s developmental stages.
2) Practicing how to be in relationship with my children in light of their growth & developmental stages.
Why these two things? Because I’ve found knowledge, coupled with action, breeds consistency.
Being consistent in the work shaping our children is not easy but it is possible! Here are a few of my favorite resources to help you be consistent in your parenting.
1) Know your child’s growth and developmental stages
Get educated on human growth and developmental stages. Why? It will give you a heads up for what to look out for through the ages and stages of your child’s life.
One of my favorite books to recommend for understanding child development is “The Whole Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind.” It is succinct and approachable for parents but has vital information on understanding your child’s developing mind!
There is even a chart in the appendix that lays out the stages of children’s mental capacity very succinctly and is a helpful cheat sheet to keep on hand!
A second great book is “Ages and Stages: A Parent’s Guide to Normal Childhood Development.” The book is a practical guide for parents about what is going on in child development from birth to 10 years old. Written with parents in mind, this is another helpful book to have on hand chock full of insights!
2) Learn ways to help your child’s intense emotions as they grow.
I’ll share 2 fantastic and really practical resources that have helped me learn ways to help me parent big emotions well.
The first one is from my colleague Lisa Dion which is a 2-page resource that is a compilation of nervous system symptoms and a list of ways to regulate through uncomfortable or unwanted symptoms when they show up.
This is really helpful as a parent. It’s a practical resource that lists examples of what activation (also known as fight, flight, freeze, fall asleep responses) can look like in children. A helpful list of activities to incorporate as redirections and regulation strategies is part of this sheet too!
And a second resource for learning ways to help children through intense emotions is No-Drama Discipline Workbook: Exercises, Activities, and Practical Strategies to Calm The Chaos and Nurture Developing Minds
This workbook takes concepts taught in many of the books written by Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson to a practical level in an easy to follow workbook. It helps parents personalize their parent-child relationship training strategies!
Practice, Practice, Practice
Once armed with resources it takes practice to integrate new ways of parenting.
Practicing, getting it wrong, practicing again, and doing this over and over is the only way I know how to really work on becoming a truly consistent parent.
Practically, this can look many different ways. Try completing worksheets (from the workbook mentioned above) and then role-playing with your spouse a few times before you implement your work. Or work on stopping yourself when you get it wrong with your child and utilizing a regulation activity from Lisa Dion’s sheet.
When you mess up, try saying to your children something like, “I need to do that again. I didn’t want to say that.”
Or possibly say, “I can’t keep that promise or punishment I just said. I said that out of anger. I’m going to try my reaction again with and find another way to address your actions.”
It’s not “one size fits all” in parenting! Feel free to try resources out, keeping the ones that work and discarding the ones that don’t along the way. But whatever resources resonate with you as a parent remember to work on incorporating them through intentional practice.
My hope is that you would have more confidence in parenting, more options, and the ability to be consistent in your parenting.
It’s not about getting it right but it is about decreasing your frustration and your child’s overly activated nervous system.
Remember, keep short and long-term goals in mind in order to stay the course with consistency. Consistency is not rigidity or perfection. In fact, making mistakes and asking for forgiveness teaches children what real relationship looks like.
Owner | Child Therapist | LCPC, RPTParenting is hard! But you don’t have to do it alone. I work with children and parents to resolve emotional conflict, cultivate healing, and nurture hope.
Parent Matters Blog
Resources to help parents raise safe and informed kids.
Disclaimer: These writings should be considered a matter of personal opinion. They do not reflect professional advice. This medium does not lend itself to the level of detail and intimacy required to provide professional advice. If you are in need of consultation, I highly recommend you seek professional counseling. If at all possible, you should seek a reliable referral from a trusted source.
Well, we’ve reached the third and final installment of our series on video games. If you haven’t yet read parts one and two, you should go back and do that now. In part one we looked at the psychological impacts of video gaming, and in part two we looked at the...
(In case you missed part 1 about videos affecting your child’s sleep, click here)In our first installment on video games, we talked about how your child is being psychologically affected by video games. We touched on both the good and the bad and while there is so...
Since the dawn of gaming, there has been a war waging between parents and video games. Every year a new hot game hits the market and breaks entertainment records and every year articles are published that blame games for real-life violence, behavioral issues, and...
Parent Matters Blog Resources to help parents raise safe and informed kids. Sign Up Here! Disclaimer: These writings should be considered a matter of personal opinion. They do not reflect professional advice. This medium does not lend itself to the level of...
If I asked you to name which apps are on your child’s phone right now, could you answer correctly? Do you even know? In 2017 the total number of mobile app downloads reached 197 billion... with a ‘B’. As a parent it can seem overwhelming and even impossible to stay on...
Play is the natural language of children. Next time you find yourself struggling with your child, turn to play for the answer. For your child, play is familiar, play is non-threatening, and most of all play is fun. Welcome back to part 2 of a 3-part series on how to...
Let’s face it, some days as a parent it’s hard to cultivate feelings of gratitude. A car cuts you off in traffic or another mom gives you a judgemental look for bringing your coughing kid to playgroup. Life seems to just have a lot of things that feel hard to be...
Being a parent is hard. Being a healthy parent is even harder. Parents give so much of their time, resources and overall energy to the process of raising a healthy child. While routines, structures, and discipline are put in place to help the child, it becomes very...
The recent news of an even deeper scandal involving a major religious institution in our world is plain awful. As a parent with young children, it is troubling to consider the statistics surrounding child abuse within what is considered seemingly safe adult...
Don’t Parent Alone!
Sign up for our FREE Newsletter: “Parent Matters.”
Receive our best parenting advice right to your inbox. Our goal is to help parents raise safe and informed children.
We help anxious kids and frustrated parents. We serve Hinsdale & the Western Suburbs of Chicago.
Made with ♥︎ in Hinsdale, Illinois for Chicago
Built By Brand Your Practice.
© 2019 Kid Matters Counseling, P.C.
Kid Matters Counseling, P.C. DISCLAIMER: This website and blog are for informational, educational and general discussion purposes only. It is understood that no guarantee or warranty arises from the information provided, discussed or commented upon in this. website and blog nor does it constitute legal or other professional advice on any subject matter. Access to this website and blog is voluntary and at the sole risk of the user. If you think that you have a medical emergency (including clinical), call your doctor or 911 immediately. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. While the information contained within this website and blog is periodically updated, no guarantee is given that the information provided is correct, complete, and/or up-to-date.