Parents who are flexible have rules for the household and follow through on discipline, but occasionally, when a special circumstance comes up, they may back off on a particular rule as a way of adapting to the situation. Flexibility means being gentle and yielding while still moving toward the particular parenting goal.
Inconsistency, on the other hand, is when a parent intends to follow through but either doesn’t have the strength to do so, forgets to do so, or doesn’t understand why structure and resolve are important to kids. An inconsistent parent is an unreliable parent. Children who are unable to predict their parent’s behavior because of inconsistency cannot trust their parents as well, and the foundation of the relationship suffers. Children thrive in households where parents are consistent, yet flexible.
—10 Best Gifts for Your Teen: Raising Teens with Love and Understanding by Patt and Steve Saso (Sorin)
By Annemarie Scobey, from the pages of At Home with Our Faith, Claretian Publications’ print newsletter for parents on nurturing spirituality in the home. Winner of the Best in Class award in 2014 from the Associated Church Press, as well as a First Place General Excellence award from the Catholic Press Association for four years running. Here’s a sample issue.
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