If you have kids, you know how difficult parenting can be. When you have your first, you must quickly navigate the world of diapers and no sleep. As your child gets older and as you add to your family, you must learn how to handle tantrums, fighting, and the dreaded word “NO” coming from your child. Although parenting will never be easy, structure and consistency are important to making things easier, for both you and your kids.
Keeping a regular schedule will help make your life easier. When both you and your kids know what to expect, then the day will run smoother. For example, if your regular schedule includes making beds after breakfast, then your kids will automatically know they need to do it. It won’t come as a surprise when you tell them it’s time to go upstairs and complete the task. Children thrive in a structured environment. They may think they want to make all of the choices, but their young brains just aren't capable yet.
Sleep is one of the most important things your kids need. Although they might beg to stay up, stay strong when it comes to an early bedtime. You can’t control what time your kids wake up, so sending them to bed early will ensure they get enough sleep so that you don’t have a tire and grumpy kid on your hands. It will also give you some time to relax and catch up with your partner before you go to bed. Check out more great tips on sleep here.
Although there is nothing wrong with the occasional cookie or treat, your meals should follow healthy habits. If your kids have ever had too much sugar or unhealthy foods, I’m sure you’ve noticed that they throw fits more often and tend to be more difficult. Sugar can overstimulate kids and through their whole body chemistry off. A healthy diet will help their bodies get the nutrients they need for a healthy body and a healthy mind.
If you tell your kids to do something, then you need to be prepared to follow through. For example, if you tell them that they will be grounded from TV if they don’t pick up the Legos from the floor, then be prepared for that consequence to happen. When your kids know what to expect from you, then they’ll know you’re serious about consequences. They will be more likely to listen the first time you say something so that they can avoid that negative consequence. Be consistent. Sometimes it's easier to let things go but that only creates future problems.
Love & Attention
In addition to the structure and consistency you give your kids regarding schedules and consequences, it’s important to also be consistent with your love and attention. Make it a habit to touch your children throughout the day, from a quick hug when they wake up to cuddling on the couch reading a book at the end of the day. Not only will this help strengthen the bond between you and your kids, it will also help your kids with their emotional development. Talk to them about thier feelings and model the type of person you want them to be. They are little sponges and soak up everything you do.
Structure and consistency are important for your kids’ physical and emotional well-being. How do you create structure and consistency in your daily schedule?