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When A Child Has Consistent Expectations

Lots of things can get in the way of consistency....you're tired, there is too much going on, you fear that sticking to it may make things worse, you and your partner disagree, to name a few. But in the long run, consistency does make things easier by setting clear expectations. When a child has consistent expectations, they know what to expect from you of themselves. While they may not always show it, having clear boundaries and expectations creates a feeling of safety and security in children.

What if you had a boss who sometimes expected you to complete a certain task, and other times didn't, and you got in trouble the times you didn't complete it because he wasn't consistent with expectations so you weren't consistent with your output? It's the same thing.

So, as hard as it can be, this is an area to definitely dig in and take the time and energy on so both parents and children feel successful. Here are some areas to work on being consistent with:

-bedtime (pick one time and stick with it each night)

-mealtime expectations (for example: sitting on their bottom, asking to be excused, using inside voices at the table)

-household contribution (for example: do they need to put their backpack away, make their bed, take out the trash, put their shoes away)

-social behaviors (for example: saying excuse me instead of interrupting a conversation, sharing, being kind to others)

Are there any areas you struggle with consistency with? Or areas you've really seen it pay off?


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