When I was pregnant, I read lots of articles telling me that being consistent was the key to a child's well being. The articles detailed the same advice: Lay down the rules and follow through on them every time - even when you are tired. Make sure your child's caregiver follows the same rules that you do. Communicate the expectations and consequences clearly and often.
What can I say? I wasn't a mom yet and I was a bit naive. But after I became a mom to a toddler, I came to realize something very important: I am not a robot.
Consistency for children is great, yes, but I now think that flexibility is better. (At least in my family.)
I'm sure you've been there before: You set up a great outing for your children and weather or traffic or unforeseen circumstances get in the way. Do you give up and go home or do you have a backup plan?
Everything we do as parents is not going to work out. I've long since accepted that. It's OK to let our children see us fail and then have them watch us figure out plan B. If they never see us revise plans and be flexible, then how will they know what to do when they experience failure in their own lives?
Am I screwing up? Yeah. Probably. But maybe I'm teaching my son to have a backup plan along the way.
Before you became a parent, what did you think you would never do that you are doing all the time now? Share with me in the comments.