Good moms know that consistency in raising children is key
Consistency is one of the most essential concepts when it comes to raising little ones.
In terms of structure and routine, consistency provides limits and boundaries for children. These help them to organize and integrate information into their brain and gain an understanding of how the world works, as well as what is expected of them.
On the emotional side, consistency means purposely choosing how to engage with or respond to your child without varying with that choice over time.
Implementing consistency into your child’s care should start as soon as they are born.
When infants grow up in a regular, predictable world, they learn that they can trust their caregivers to meet their needs. This leads them to develop a sense of security when caregivers respond predictably and lovingly when they are crying, hungry, sleepy, or in a playful mood.
Infants who know that they can depend on caregivers to meet their needs have a strong foundation to form secure attachments.
Toddlers are known to push the boundaries and testing to figure out what they can get away with. They are learning cause and effect, which means that they are learning how they can make things happen when they do something. It is a necessity at that age to remain consistent with them, their routine and their education.
Realistic and achievable boundaries will allow the children to express themselves correctly and create a secure atmosphere. With this comes the most effective learning and improved outcomes for the child. Without consistency, the child is left feeling confused and unaware of the expectations.
However, it is important to note that being consistent does not mean never changing the schedule or routine, never changing the rules, or always being in control of a child’s actions. Flexibility is essential because children’s needs are constantly changing and evolving. Even when the basic routine is the same, some details could change from day to day. When children are secure in their regular routines, they learn to adapt to small changes more easily. In fact, experiencing flexibility within routines helps children learn to adapt without anxiety or stress.
Here are some examples of what consistency looks like:
– Before being fed, a bib is placed on;
– Before going out, all the lights are turned off;
– After finishing a game, it needs to be tidied up;
– Before bath time, a new PJ is picked out;
– Before going to bed, the blinds are closed, books are read, and/or songs are sung;
– When your child is having a tantrum, you are calming yourself first instead of yelling;
You need to pick what is important to you and stick to it. By doing so, your child will be able to know what is coming afterwards.
Consistency goes beyond children feeling secure, understanding the world and their place in it.
Consistency also promotes:
– Social and emotional development. For example, having your child attend the same child care facility throughout his or her early years allows your child to develop relationships with the adults and children in that environment. A child who is comfortable with the people in his or her life is more likely to participate in learning opportunities and advanced cooperative play, such as working with others to accomplish goals and tasks, role-play, and games with rules. In addition, children who experience consistent care may also demonstrate less aggressive behaviors because of their ability to use language to resolve conflicts. For young children, the knowledge that adults and other children, as well as daily routines will be consistent over time fosters confidence.
– Cognitive development. Children growing in a safe and stable environment will feel confident enough to develop their curiosity and explore the world around them. Children learn through their senses first. This is why allowing them to do so safely is so important as their experiences will become their lessons.
– Language development. Children with consistent daily interactions (including discussions, fingerplays, songs, and read-alouds), lead to more advanced language skills by promoting vocabulary development and conversational skills.
It helps children develop the fundamental language skills they will continue to build on throughout their lifetimes.
Once they get older, helping children understand the concept of consistency is a great way for them to grasp routines in order to achieve a better result overall. Consistency is a skill that will set children up for life in many ways.
Creating consistency is key to helping create an effective learning environment. As students, they will quickly establish a clear understanding of classroom rules, routines and behaviour. This will help them remain more in control of their actions.
Giving children a safe frame through consistency will enable them to become confident enough to reach their full potential.