Kids need consistency to be truly successful. That consistency needs to come from both school and home. If there’s a disconnect between the two, a child will have difficulty creating a routine in either place.
For example, if a child doesn’t have to clean up their toys at home, but they’re required to clean up at school, they might become defiant when a teacher asks them to clean up after themselves.
1. Create consistency by teaching organization
Start creating consistency when they’re young by teaching your toddlers organization skills. You’ll have to use plenty of repetition, but that’s okay because repetition is how we learn.
When your kids learn organization skills at home, they’ll automatically carry those skills with them into the classroom. It won’t be hard for teachers and adults to guide your kids to clean up after a messy project.
Kids who are naturally organized are less likely to develop an aversion to being told what to do when it’s time to clean up a mess.
Organization is more than just a method to keep a room clean. It’s actually a lifestyle. Someone who keeps their space organized usually won’t let tasks pile up, either. Organized people are efficient and get things done.
2. Be strict with rules
Kids require consistent rules that they know can’t be bent. That doesn’t mean you can’t make exceptions as needed, but you never want to give your child the impression that rules are arbitrary.
Whenever you set rules for the house, ensure that your child fully understands the rules and the consequences for breaking the rules. For example, don’t hesitate to take away their cell phone if they stay up texting all night.
Be consistent with your rules. For example, don’t allow your child to have a messy bedroom, but insist on keeping the front room clean. This will only send a mixed message to them about where it’s okay to be messy. A child who grows up being able to have a messy room will probably continue making a mess in their personal space as an adult.
3. Don’t let your kids slide too often
In certain circumstances, it makes sense to bend the rules to let your kids slide. However, be cautious about letting them slide too often, as this can create the expectation of being let off the hook in the future.
If you let your child slide most of the time, they’ll come to expect the same treatment from teachers and other adults in their lives who won’t let them slide. Not getting special treatment from other adults can also make a child feel entitled and therefore bitter and resentful when they don’t get what they want.
When you decide to make an exception to the rules, make sure your child understands that it is a one-time thing and they’re not going to get a free pass next time.
4. Create a routine for your child
Consistency can come in more forms than just rules and organization. For example, creating a simple routine for your child will do wonders to help them get through the day. Routines make it possible for a child to run mostly on autopilot and they won’t even think about complaining.
Once a child has a routine for getting up, making their bed, brushing their teeth, and getting dressed, they won’t spend the day complaining about having to do these things. They’ll just do it.
Routines and schedules make kids feel more confident because it helps them develop mastery over their own life. In that space, when unexpected change happens, it’s not so hard to handle.
5. Set a strong example of being your word
Consistency comes in more forms than just routines, schedules, and organization. Honoring your word and coming through on your promises is also a form of consistency that sets a good example for your child.
Whenever you say you’re going to do something, your child is paying attention and you can count on them remembering later. For instance, if they say they want a McDonald’s hamburger and you say, “well get one later,” they will keep asking when “later” will come, fully expecting to get a hamburger.
Be truthful, direct, and short
If you don’t want to get a hamburger, tell your child “no” without any additional explanation. Don’t set yourself up for breaking promises (implied or otherwise) to your child.
When you consistently keep your word, your child will come to trust you more. They will also learn to keep their promises through observing you.
Set your kids up for success
Consistency is the key to a successful life. Creating a foundation of consistency will help your child develop self-confidence and the ability to succeed in life.
Laila Azzahra is a professional writer and blogger that loves to write about technology, business, entertainment, science, and health.