One of the things that is important in parenting is consistency. Most of us understand that there needs to be consistency in discipline. The rules don't change or bend according to the mood of the parent, and the consequence is the same each time. Predictability communicates to the child that it is in their best interest to choose their behavior wisely.
Consistency is also important in teaching your children values and priorities.
Examine what your priorities are. What are they? Faith? Education? Teaching kindness? Good manners? Family?
Decide what the priorities are, and then every parenting decision you make needs to fit with that.
Sometimes decisions are made that bring two priorities into conflict. In those times, you have to decide what the top priority is.
It isn't easy. Trying to wade through the hundreds of parenting decisions you make in your kids' lives can be overwhelming. If you have your priority list in your head, when you are thinking about what decision to make, ask yourself:
- What does this decision teach my child about ______? (fill in the blank with the priority you're thinking about)
- How does this decision line up with what I want my child to understand about _______?
- If I make this decision, will my child get the impression that ______ is less important?
You get the idea! Remember that the goal of parenting is to give your child an opportunity (although ultimately your child will make his/her own choices) to grow into a person with values, morals, and character. Each decision you make moves towards that or away from that.