agreeing or accordant; compatible; not self-contradictory: His views and actions are consistent.
constantly adhering to the same principles, course, form, etc.: a consistent opponent.
holding firmly together; cohering.
Archaic . fixed; firm.
I am consistent about eating too much.  Consistent about putting my hair up the same way.  Consistent about bringing my camera places.  Consistent about checking Face Book and calling my mom.  Why is it so hard to be consistent with reading my Bible?  Getting up before the kids in the morning?  Spending time in prayer?  Disciplining my children?  You know the things that really matter.  Not that talking to my mom is not important but the other things that I consistently do really are not that important.   
This week I learned a hard lesson in consistency and my son suffered for it.   At Target Wesley threw the worse temper tantrum of all time.   Believe me when I say it was horrible.  I did not even recognize him.  Couldn't believe that my child had  become one of the kids that I hear screaming in Target.  

I started to write this later that day when I finally got home after 40 minutes of listening to  continuous screaming in the car.  I put both children to bed and came down to vent.  Thankfully I realized my heart was in the wrong place and stopped myself.  I thought and prayed about it.  Why did my child act this way?  Why has he been acting out more than usual?  What's wrong with him?  It was then that I realized nothing was wrong with him.  The Bible says  " train up a child in the way he should go"  I was not doing my part.  Wesley was just acting out because of my lack on consistency. 

I used to be better at it but lately I have been failing.  I let him get away with things that I used to not let happen.  Little things.  I caught myself saying "1, 2, 3, come on buddy",  found myself picking up his toys after I told him to a handful of times, offering too much and expecting too little.  Little things that led to a huge problem.  I am his mother, I am to lead him, love him, guide him and teach him.  Not always make him happy, give him what he wants, or forgo punishment because I hate to see him upset. 

In the chap stick section of Target, I learned my lesson, or at least started to learn it.  When I decided to stick to what I said the yails were loud, worse than I imagined.  He was livid.  He did not like me much at all.  I felt like a failure.  Seeing my son so upset hurt me.  I kept thinking if only he had just stopped the first time I said to I would not have had to put the treats back.   If he would have stopped screaming I would not have had to put everything back and leave the store with a screaming son and a confused daughter.  Why did he not listen??

Consistency.  I had not been consistent with him.  I had let things go and he knew it. Kids are smart like that.  He did not think that this time I would actually go threw with what I said I was going to do.  He did not know that that day was the day I was going to say what I mean and mean what I say.   Parenting is so hard sometimes.  I so want to just be Wesley's friend, to run around, play, chat about dragons and make cookies.  I don't want to enforce the rules or make him listen to me, hold him accountable for his actions or sometimes even let him learn the hard way (like the time I let him try the hot pepper even though I kept telling him it would burn his tongue).  But here's the kicker.  He is happier when I am consistent!  Don't minunderstand me, he does not thank me for taking away his toy, or not letting him go to the pumpkin patch due to his bad behavior but he is happier.  He knows that there will be a consequence for his poor behavior and he is not constantly trying to get away with things like he was before.  It sounds silly as I write it but seriously the kid is happier.  Honest.

Since our Target disaster I have been super consistent and Wes is learning that when I say "pick up your toys or we will not go outside"  I mean it!  I will not get down there and pick them up quick so we can go out.  And that makes us all a lot happier.  So I guess what I am saying here is that I want my children to be happy, I hate to see them any other way BUT sometimes it is necessary to teach them the right way and if that makes them unhappy for a little while, then that's ok.   Consistency is a good thing.


Julie said...

So very true!! Kids need the "Safety" that consistency and boundaries bring. I joke that I am inconsistently consistent...and it is usually after a major meltdown like Wesleys!! Hang in there! You are doing a great job!

Sarah Halstead said...

This is really great. I need to be more consistent with Dustyn instead of just taking the easy way out all the time. Wonderful post.

Heather said...

Great post! I am having a hard time with this with Brad. I have been making him pick up things he throws even though we stand there for 5 minutes. It is hard. And, I also hate the consequences. :( I too think, "If you just listened to me, you wouldn't be sad right now." Thanks for the encouraging post and reminder to stay steadfast in consistency! And, yea, I'm pretty much consistent with the same things you are at the beginning of your post. ;-)

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