4 Reasons to Avoid Inconsistent Parenting
– Khadeeja Rana
Over and over again I have come across instances of inconsistent parenting so I guess we’ve all been there. Inconsistent parenting is a relatively new concept and you might ask, inconsistency in what way? Very good question indeed. It can be both within parent and between parents. Before we move further, let’s get clear on what we mean by inconsistent parenting.
- If you are very strict sometimes but give in at other times especially on the same rule/request
- Giving erratic punishment and reward, providing inconsistent consequences of undesirable behavior
- Being inconsistent with expectations from the child
- Negating boundaries set by the other parent
- Not following through set punishments, consequences; giving in to kid’s whining.
But why is it so bad after all, you might wonder. Let’s look at what it’s doing to your children.
- Children stop believing you. Your kids will not buy it anymore when you tell them you won’t be getting any *insert kid’s favourite thing*. Now what kind of a parent wants their child to not believe what they say?
- Children lose respect for you. This might come as a shock, but come to think of it, why would a child respect your authority when you do not even mean what you say? What’s worse, kids would stop upholding rules and limits in other walks of life, as they grow older.
- Children feel anxious and confused. Inconsistency is bound to make children feel confused about what they are expected of, what might happen. Overtime, anxiety can worsen and become a chronic disorder.
- Children become irresponsible. When you are not following through, your kids are learning to get away with things. They might be more curious about how you’d react and be tempted to break rules to test you. At the end of the day, nobody wants to raise a poorly behaved teenager or an irresponsible adult.
However, all is not lost. If you can relate to the above, you can fix it too. Try being firm and calm when you are setting boundaries. Make sure limits or consequences are not harsh but reasonable for the child and both parents are on the same page. Once you’ve laid out the rules, stick to them no matter what. Happy parenting!