A big part of your parenting mission and parenting plan should be identifying your rules, boundaries and expectations. One of the things that can either make parenting harder or easier is your ability to have rules and then consistently enforce them.
Take some time to figure out what kind of behavior you expect from your kids and how you are going to enforce that behavior. It is so confusing for a young child to have rules that change daily based on whether a parent is feeling up to enforcing something.
Don’t make a rule, if you are not willing to enforce it. All you do is set your kids up for failure and ensure that you will spend most of your time yelling, but never actually doing anything about it.
One of the things that used to frustrate me so much when my kids were little was when we would go to the park and some kid would be throwing sand or wood chips at the other kids. Then, a lazy mom sitting on a bench would yell at him/her to stop throwing things or they were going to leave. While the rest of us hoped she would at some point actually follow through and leave, she never would, she would just sit there and scream at her kids for hours. And her kids never stopped throwing things.
If you are going to say something, then be willing to enforce it, otherwise you will end up yelling all the time and your kids will never listen. At some point, they will tune out your yelling because nothing ever actually happens, you never get off the bench and enforce what you say. Follow through!
“If you are going to make a rule, be willing to enforce it. If you don’t enforce your rules, you will lose the ability to be heard by your kids. You have to actually follow through with everything you say.
“Parenting is all about being consistent every single day. Consistent with your rules, consistent with your routines, consistent with your traditions. Kids thrive with consistency.”
This is also why a teacher can manage a whole classroom. The rules are consistent and they are enforced. Everyone knows what is expected and what happens when a rule is broken. So, for the most part, the class stays on task.
Moms ask me all the time how they can get their kids to listen without yelling. This is it, this is the magic; be consistent and follow through.