Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Works for Me Wednesday - The Parenting Edition

The theme for this week's Works For Me Wednesday is Parenting. We are about to pool our wealth of parenting knowledge and unite into one giant Army of Effective Parents! Of course, it's equally possible that we might just come out of the thing more confused than we already were. But let's hope for the Army.

I'll go back to the basics, when I say that CONSISTENCY is something that always works for us. When we are actually consistent. Which we aren't always, but definitely should be!

For example, we used behavior charts and stickers for a while, to help our girls improve in areas where there were problems. Worked pretty well. Until vacation rolled around and we got out of the habit. Lack of consistency = lost improvement.

Next example. Bedtimes. During the school year, we have a consistent bath/bedtime routine. But. During the summer time, things get a little willy nilly, and suddenly kids forget that "bathroom business" means toilet, hands, teeth. They're all, "Do you want me to brush my teeth tonight?" So in this case, lack of consistency = confusion.

Now, on top of consistency, I've realized we have to add persistence. Especially in our case, because our girls have had lots of changes in their short lives. But I think this can apply to pretty much anyone.

We've probably all read parenting books and blogs and forums and websites, and sometimes thought, "Oh, that sounds like a great idea! Maybe it will solve our problem with Wrong Behavior A!" So every time our kid exhibits Wrong Behavior A, they receive Correction A, and we wait for wonderful results. But we don't see immediate results and so give up and move on to something else or often times nothing. So Behavior A continues to exist, and sometimes even worsens.

Now I don't know about you, but here in the Dirty Laundry household, I'm all about the Next Big Thing. So I hear a good idea, and it's, "That's what will save us all!" But when I don't get immediate results, I start looking for the Next Big Thing. And we don't see improvement.

What I realized recently is, it's not that one method works better than another. It's that once we decide how we're going to parent, we have to do it the same way, every day, forever. That way, our children know what to expect, and we get into good habits and they get into good habits, and maybe, just maybe we can come close to happier ever after.

So, Consistency and Persistence. They Work for Me! Now, go on over to Shannon's and see all the other fabulous parenting tips!

For extra credit, here are some kid-related posts I've written in the past:
Organizing Kids' Computer Disks - Still Works For Me!
Nap Routines - We haven't been consistent this summer.
Controlling Toy Chaos - Still Works For Me!
Shopping for Barbie - Still Works For Me! And for Polly Pockets!
Summer Schedule - I swear, this one is so vital to peace in our household! The past few weeks, we've been a little loosey-goosey, and I can really tell the difference! Kids (and adults) are all a little more whiney, complaining, and restless. Our family does so much better when they know what to expect!

In closing, I want to remind you to come back and visit me on Friday for
Advice Forum Friday! You can read more about it here.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Aaahhhhh.....consistency - such a wonderful word! And it truly does work...when you are consistent. Funny how that works, huh? I'm good at it with some things, but others - not so much! I need to get consistent with being consistent. I wonder how many times I can say consistent in one comment? Can you tell I should go to bed. It is 2:36 am! But I am very consistent at being a night owl...and rambling! Ok, I'm done!