March 18, 2013

Joyful Mom Monday - Being Consistent!

Counting God's Little Blessings
Well, if you read the title to this and went UGH, I am right there with you!  My most popular prayer seems to be, "God, please help me be more week!" :)  As my children are getting a little older, though, I am able to see where consistency in certain areas has paid off and, much to my dismay, where inconsistency in others is KILLING me now! ;)  The previous month in our home has just been off, and I do believe, I finally pinpointed the problem - INCONSISTENCY!  My goal for this week is STICK TO THE SCHEDULE; BE CONSISTENT!  

When I think of consistency in parenting, I think of two areas in particular - routine and discipline.  I have learned that having a routine, especially with smaller children, helps tremendously.  Because they know what to expect, there are not as many temper tantrums or whiny "why can't I's."  We just do what we do because that is what we have always done.  If you are experiencing more contrariness than usual, you may need to think through your routine and work out the rough places that could be causing problems, or you may need to make a new routine altogether.  

Once you have a routine established and are sticking to it, then you can begin addressing those disciplinary "issues."  I have found that the closer our family stays to our normal routine, the fewer issues we have.  Everyone knows what to expect.  All are fed and well-rested.  There is a happy balance of work and play.  However, despite the lovely routine, there can be "issues," and when these "issues" arise, I find I can discipline more consistently and with a clear conscience because I know I have done my best to make the home environment appealing.  In other words, when I prepare supper two hours later than usual, I cannot, with a clear conscience, discipline my 4 year old for throwing a fit during supper.  If I prepare supper on time, I probably will not have a fit...well, it's a good theory on paper anyway! :)  If I do have a fit, I feel as though I can go to the heart issue without having to deal with the surface problems as well!

I have also found that consistency in discipline is more easily achieved when you only try to conquer one problem at a time.  Last month, I truly wondered (and you would have to) if my children had ever seen the inside of a church!  I finally took the time one morning to write down each child's name and one problem that I wanted to work with them on for that day.  I focused on only that one thing for each child all day.  Unless there was an issue of direct obedience or defiance, I ignored all the other problems.  I am finding my home much more pleasant after just a couple of weeks of this kind of consistent focus.

We have very rigidly kept to our schedule today, and I am finding that I and my children are much more joyful!  Yes, there are times/days when the schedule needs to be thrown out the window, but our children will not be self-disciplined if we are not.  How are you being consistent in your home?  Do you have areas you would like to be more consistent in?  What motivates you to stick to your schedule/routine?   Well, I am 10 minutes off schedule and am supposed to be preparing supper right now.  I better go before the 9 year old catches me and reminds me of "the schedule." :)

Wishing you a day full of blessings,

Counting God's Little Blessings - 3 Every Day:
40.  The laughter of my kiddos
41.  The wink of my Mr.
42.  The wisdom God gives each day when I take the time to ask for it!

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