The Five Priorities for Raising Successful Children and Families, so far are Love Your Spouse, Eat Dinner Together and third Be Consistent.
We as parents need consistency in all things. Parents are the rock for the family and like God, our rock ( Psalm 31:3), we must be solid ground for our children.
Parents must be consistent in establishing bed times, meal times, TV habits, computer time, chores and discipline. All rules and consequences for not following rules should be known in advance. Children need your consistency and though they may complain, there is security in knowing the boundaries.
Often parents are not consistent with rules and rules are improvised as they go. Children know how to manipulate when there is inconsistency.
Being consistent is hard work, plans must be made and agreed on in advance by both parents. No parent should be the “bad guy” and the other “the softy”. In the end children become confused by mixed messages and often rebel against both parents authority. Parents need to back each other up when disciplining.
Plan consistent rules far in advance of your child’s teen years. Rules should already be established before the issues of dating and curfews come up. Nobody likes rules but everyone appreciates knowing what they are in advance.
Remember if you expect rules to be followed then you must also to follow them too. Parents must be the rock and model of consistency.