Consistency: An Essential Practice for Providing Security to Children

We often hear about the importance of consistency when working with children or raising our own. But what does it mean?

For example, if a child is asked to clean up their room for the first time and doesn’t go, what should we do? Remind them of our request, or let it go since they don’t feel like doing it.

Choosing the second option is a mistake we sometimes make. Indeed, this teaches the child not to take everything you ask of them seriously.

If, on the contrary, you remind them of your request and set up the necessary conditions for them to act on it, you are being consistent, and they will understand that your requests are not optional actions in their day. Also, praise the thevaluingtions when they do something that aligns with your expectations and requests.

Consistency is central to your interactions with children: it creates a stable and predictable environment that supports their emotional security. It helps establish clear benchmarks and expectations, which contributes to developing trust and emotional stability in children.

How can consistency be ensured daily?

Setting clear rules and understandable expectations is essential for consistency with a child. Stay consistent in enforcing these rules, ensuring that the principles and their consequences are not arbitrarily changed. Communicate openly with the child about your expectations and encourage positive behaviors. Avoid frequent exceptions, except when necessary, to maintain predictability. Being attentive and responsive to the child’s needs also helps build trust.

Different sources define consistency as:

– Perseverance, tenacity, fidelity;
– Moral strength, courage;
– Persistence in what one undertakes.

These definitions couldn’t be more accurate! If being a parent, teacher, educator, particular education technician, or any other professional working in children’s environments means constantly repeating the same things to get children to take action and, in some cases, fall in line, it makes us perseverant, tenacious beings with moral strength and the courage to act and maintain demands.

What happens when we are not consistent in enforcing our rules?

It can create confusion and uncertainty in children. They may struggle to understand what is expected of them, leading to undesirable behaviors. The lack of consistency can also affect the child’s trust in the family setting, as they may perceive the environment as unpredictable. Ultimately, consistency helps establish healthy boundaries and promotes stable emotional development in children.

However, avoid judging yourself or beating yourself up if, at times, fatigue or routine propels you into a whirlwind and you lose some consistency. When things don’t go according to your strategies, “to your liking,” as they say, and the child doesn’t seem to hear what you’re asking them, ask yourself the following question: have I put all the conditions in place for them to be receptive to my requests? This way, you can restore a healthy and secure environment where the child will be more attentive to your demands.

To what extent is it normal for a young child to have tantrums?

It’s normal for young children to have tantrums, as it’s part of their emotional development. Toddlers may struggle to express their needs and emotions verbally, and tantrums can be a form of communication. However, it’s essential to monitor the frequency and intensity of tantrums. If they become excessive or persist, seeking advice from early childhood professionals to understand and address the underlying causes may be helpful.

In summary, to demonstrate consistency, you should:

1. Establish clear rules: Set clear expectations and boundaries.
2. Communicate openly: Explain the reasons behind the rules to foster understanding. Even young children often need an explanation to understand. Therefore, avoid “because I said so” and “because I decided.”
3. Be consistent: Apply rules uniformly, avoiding frequent exceptions.
4. Model behavior: Demonstrate consistency through your actions and attitudes.
5. Be attentive to the child’s needs: Adapt your approaches based on the child’s development and specific needs.
6. Offer predictable consequences: Ensure that the implications for behaviors are clear, consistent, and based on educational strategies.
7. Periodically reassess: Adjust rules as necessary, considering the child’s development.

By consistently implementing these actions, you create a stable and predictable environment for the child.

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