Alright, so a foundation of being a great parent is consistent encouragement and consistent consequences. There’s a lot of propaganda out there trying to teach you how to be the perfect parent. And it’s nonsense.
None of us are going to be the perfect parents. I’m a “parenting expert” and I will consistently make mistakes as a parent. And so will you. Who cares?
The key is not to be a perfect parent but a consistent parent. Consistent encouragement and consistent consequences.
So practically what exactly does that mean? Well let’s talk about consistent encouragement. Get out your iPhone, your smart phone, set a reminder on your calendar to ping you once a day to say something kind and encouraging to your kid.
So if you’ve got a teenager, you could set a reminder every day at 4 o’clock to send them an encouraging, loving text message. They’re out of school. The notification comes up. You just take a moment away from your day, away from what you’re doing to send them a note and say, hey honey, I love you, I’m very proud of this particular thing that you did.
So that’s a practical example of you could consistently encourage them. Now consistent consequences. This is also very, very important. And really the key with consistent consequences is just that, consistency. Meaning you ned to write out in advance, if you do this, the following is going to happen.
Because often as parents, we get emotional when our kid does something wrong. And we tend to overreact out of anger or frustration, which is understandable. Or we tend to underreact because we’re sick and tired of it, or we’ve had a crazy day, or we’re worn out and we don’t want to bother.
So the key to consistent consequences is having a game plan in advance. And particularly with a teenager having those consequences written out. So you’re not the bad guy. Oh, your mom is so overbearing. It’s none of that. It is, look, here is what we agreed upon. In advance. Here’s your signature. Here’s my signature. Here are the agreements as a family.
That, not trying to psyche yourself up emotionally, is how you deliver consistent consequences.