Ufff…tough word. The word “consistency” makes me cringe a little. It leads me to self- judgment. Am I consistent enough? I should be more consistent. What does it say about me if I’m not consistent? How will I be enough if I’m not consistent? Ouch. That last one hurt.
Well, I’m here to tell you that, yes, it helps to be consistent. It helps a lot. And it’s very important for children that you be consistent. Why? Well…because it’s good for them to know to expect something, whether it’s good or bad. It’s good for them to make the connections between cause and effect. It’s healthier for them to know that they can expect an action, reaction, feeling, praise, or disciplinary action if something is said or done. It helps them to feel safe.
As a teacher, I often felt that I wasn’t consistent enough. I felt like a juggler that had incorporated 20 balls in my comedy routine and tried my best to be the best juggler I could be, and yet, unfailingly, dropped about half of my balls on the floor. I imagine that parenting must sometimes feel this way.
But there’s hope. I’m here to tell you that there’s hope if you’re not a great juggler. Lol. Just kidding. I’m here to tell you to pick one ball. Pick one thing to be consistent about. Pick one reward that you do consistently when something is said or done. Pick one disciplinary action when something is said or done, or not said or done. Pick one and stick with it. Hold on to it. And as you get really comfortable juggling this one ball, you can pick up another one. It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to pick up another ball. Pick it up once you stop thinking about the fact that you’re even juggling at all. That first ball needs to become somewhat attached to you. That’s when you’re ready to pick up another consistent action, or effect.
And, finally, drop the judgment. You get to drop any judgment that you may be feeling about it (I’m also saying this to myself). You are doing the best that you can. You are doing great. You are enough. Happy juggling 🙂 You’re an amazing juggler!