Every month we will be offering our readers a tip, some months it’ll be something new to try and others it’ll be more general parenting advice. We want you to know that we are here for you through the rough and the smooth of being a parent. Whether you’re a new parent or have a tiny toddler at your feet this month’s advice is for you…
Tip Of The Month – Consistency is Key
Vague right? Well, we wanted to start with what we believe is the best piece of parenting advice available. It’s a cliche, yes, but a valuable piece of information none the less. Below we have broken up three ways that you can add consistency to your child’s routine for a smoother journey along this parenting road.
Consistency at Bedtime
Babies, toddlers and teenagers all have one thing in common – they don’t like sleeping when they should! When it comes to your little ones, it’s best to always be consistent, this way your baby will start to connect certain activities in their routine with going to bed. Try and keep as much of this routine in their bedroom as possible, so that they can associate their room with sleeping. So, after bathtime read them a story and have a snuggle in their room before switching off the lights and kissing them goodnight. If you try and keep this routine as consistent as possible every night at the same time, your child will soon start to sleep a little better.
Consistency in Discipline
Toddlers are notorious for their rebellious behaviour, testing the limits and those all important tantrums! Although this is inevitable and just part of the process having a consistent discipline strategy can really help. Be sure that yourself, partner and whoever looks after your child are all on the same page in terms of what is expected from your cheeky monkey. If you consistently reinforce and praise good behaviour you will begin to instil this mindset into your child. Although a tantrum or tearful meltdown is tough to ignore, if you threaten a punishment such as ‘no TV time’ or ‘no playtime for the evening’ then you need to stick to them, this will help kids to learn that bad behaviour comes with a consequence.
Consistency at Dinnertime
Mealtimes can be stressful combining busy days, fussy eaters and hot pans can be a recipe for disaster. We know that children change what they like on a daily basis so juggling this and teaching manners can be exhausting but sticking to a consistent plan with what you expect from mealtime is tough but totally worth it. Start by trying to eat at a similar time every day, this will encourage your little muncher’s body clock to start feeling hungry at this set time and stay away from unhealthy treats. No matter how much your tot turns their nose up at broccoli, peas and cabbage continue to place it on their plates each week to encourage them to try new and healthy foods. Eating at the table for meal times will help to encourage impeccable table manners, but you must be consistent with this and lead by example.