Theme for April: Change
Let your 'Yes' be 'Yes' and your 'No' be 'No'.
Consistency, is a word often associated with parenting. The verse, "Let your 'Yes' be 'Yes'and your 'No' be 'No' (Matthew 5: 37) has largely been misunderstood. This statement actually refers to being a person of integrity, one who keeps his word and speaks the truth.
Many parents find consistency difficult. Always trying to give the same responses, rewards, or consequences for similar situations. Trying to train the same everyday and every way from potty training to driver training. It is an impossible task. It can't be done. Why? The human factor and life circumstances. Go ahead....breathe a sigh of relief. Flexibility and creativity are the name of the game.
So you ask, "What if I've delivered a punishment, don't I have to carry it through to the end?"
Answer, "Nope." Just because you said it, doesn't mean you can't unsay it. There are times when we get-overzealous in our reaction. When we do, it's time to pull back and readjust.
The best way to deal with behavior you'd like to tweak (notice I said behavior not offspring) is to find a way to train for desirable behavior. Rather than use an old stand-by punishment such as timeout or being grounded for life-practice the better behavior. For example, if your child is disrespectful don't dismiss him to isolation - instead have him restate his words with respect. If a parent gets all worked up and easily offended the child has not only figured out what buttons to push but has also gained the upper hand. Obviously this is to be avoided.
Parenting Tip: Be consistent went it comes to your promises, faith, morals, values, safety, and legal issues. In all other situations-be creative, flexible and then train.