"Good parenting comes down to one thing: you just need to be consistent."
How many times, before becoming a mom and since, have I heard some variation of these words? They used to petrify me.
What if I wasn't consistent enough? Would my children be forever doomed--would they be unruly brats? Would the eyes of other moms everywhere look at me, shake their heads and say "if only she'd been consistent."
To me consistency meant responding to the same offence with the same response. When they do x, I do y. When they do x again, I do y again. If I fail to do y, I've failed--period.
Having been a mom for over eight years now, let me tell you: That is not what consistency means!
Being consistent means being there. It means responding when you need to respond, in the way you need to respond. It means taking the time to figure that out, to address each child as an individual. It means treating our children the way we hope they will one day treat us. It means acknowledging that we can't solve our kids like mathematical equations, we must relate to them from the heart.
Please don't let the myth of consistency confuse you. Good parenting may come down to one thing, but it isn't consistency.
Good parenting comes down to relationship.
"There is no one perfect way to be a good mother.
Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children. What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply."
~ M. Russell Ballard