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One way to achieve more balance in your life is to try being more consistent, something I am horrible at. We recently got a new puppy (yikes!) and it is a very strong reminder, every day, of how important consistency is to maintain order, and sanity, at home (read: avoid some chaos, hysteria, major messes and much exhaustion). Because my skills in this area are really lacking, I've looked up some tips that I'm sharing with you here:

1)   Be consistent with the timing of your routines. Just like a child's bedtime, it's important to be consistent with the timing of most things when it comes to balancing family life, from meals to playtime and TV time too. Set a realistic schedule that works for everyone, and stick with it. It might be rough at first, but the benefits will pay off.

2)   Be consistent in your discipline and messages to your kids (and puppies). No means NO. It cannot mean OK, just 1 time, 2 times, I'm warning you, this is the last time. It cannot mean maybe. Otherwise, little ones (of all species) become confused by what NO really means. Does it mean NO, never? Or does it mean MAYBE, sometimes, then never? I'm confused even typing this!

3)   Be consistent in your reactions. When a child sees a parent suddenly react differently, they learn from that. They can learn fear, or mischief, or become confused. They look to us for queues on how to react to difference situations in life, and they learn from this. If you flip out when you're stuck in traffic, or when the fruit punch is spilled, or if you dismiss it completely, your child will learn how they should react. Remember that kids want to please parents and be like them, more than anything (deep, deep, DEEP down, it's true)- so send a consistent message about what you think is right and wrong, and what is acceptable or not in terms of behavior, and you will find that your kids mirror the tone, and voice and energy that you use to react to things in life.

4)   Be consistent in your expectations. If you expect your kids to help set the table or clean up, for instance, before they can watch TV, or go to a friend's house, make sure they do it. This will teach them how to follow through on things, and also that good consequences come from being helpful. It will serve them well in many ways throughout life, and help you maintain a happier home.

Which things are important or challenging for you to be consistent in?


by on May. 22, 2013 at 12:00 AM
Replies (21-29):
by on May. 22, 2013 at 9:12 PM

I am too old to be raising another child, and I find my cosistency is lacking, and it shows. Got to get my act together!

by on May. 22, 2013 at 10:25 PM

right now my children are trying to redefine their bed times. They are 12,9 & 2. It started with the oldest and the other two fallowed suit. bed time was always 830 and they give a hard time going to bed now. It is now almost 10:30 and they are still awake.

8 minutes ago
by on May. 22, 2013 at 10:52 PM

I love your articles.


by on May. 22, 2013 at 11:53 PM
1 mom liked this
I agree with all the ones you said. I also think being consistent in you love(letting you know you love them even when they mis-behave and such) is important.
by Member on May. 22, 2013 at 11:54 PM

I struggle with this too!  It can be hard when you are running 100 directions, but it HAS to happen!!

by on May. 29, 2013 at 1:32 AM

Routine is the mother of consistency and Habits are fueled by consistency. A daily habit is easier to form than a weekly habit, because at the end of 1 week, you can already feel real momentum building if you have done it every day. It usually takes 21-30 days to form a daily habit.

So while enforcing rules I just take 1 rule at a time and 1 day at a time .Then I appriciate my kids when they follow it and also reward them once they form that habit .

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by Member on May. 29, 2013 at 10:38 AM

This is hard for me being a single Mom ... 

Quoting MichelleK41:

Discipline most definitely.

by on May. 29, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Yeah I know its hard for all parents. I slip too.

Quoting jessicasmom1:

This is hard for me being a single Mom ... 

Quoting MichelleK41:

Discipline most definitely.

by Member on May. 29, 2013 at 4:23 PM

I like this article 

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