Be Consistent


When it comes to family life, your children are aware of what you’re like. And I don’t mean that they know your favorite color or Starbucks drink—or even that they could describe your facial characteristics for a sketch artist. I’m getting at something much deeper. Your kids know what makes you happy and what makes you mad. They can read your mood and probably know whether to expect a good or bad night within minutes of you walking in the door after work. They know what they can get away with and when to stop pushing. They know you. They won’t know everything about you, but they probably know more than you think they do!

And because they know you so well, all parents will eventually run into issues when we teach our children one thing but do another. Eventually, children will figure that out. If they’re two or three or four right now, you probably have the ability to sneak some things by them for a little while. But trust me, there comes a point in time where they know what you’re really like. So, make sure that the things you’re asking of them are things that you’re doing yourself. Make sure that the standards you have for your children are things that you’re setting the example for in the way you live your life.

If you teach your kids not to say certain words, they’ll notice it if you say them, even if it’s occasionally. If you teach them not to lie, they’ll notice when you are less than truthful. If you teach them to treat people with respect, they’ll notice when you get mad and react disproportionately in a moment of frustration. I know that I’m not telling parents anything that they don’t already know because we’ve all been called out on our behavior by our kids. I certainly have been. I’ve also been called out by my grandkids!

And none of us will ever do it perfectly, but we certainly should be striving to live up to the standards that we set for our children. That’s called consistency. When we do a good job of living our lives by the rules and morals that we teach, we will gain credibility and be people that our kids look up to, even if they don’t agree with some of our rules and expectations.