Creating Consistency with Kids
by Drenda Keesee
Consistency is probably the most important aspect behind discipline and boundary setting because it ties love and discipline together. Without consistency, it is difficult for a child to understand the message you’re trying to convey, which only frustrates them. People thrive under some structure; but when that structure varies and they don’t know if a rule exists from one time to the next, they begin to feel resentful and distrusting. It’s the same way with your children.
If a mom says…
…yes to something, and the dad says no, that creates inconsistency. If you allow something one day and don’t allow it another, that creates inconsistency. When there isn’t consistency in discipline, children feel that you’re disciplining them out of spite or personal anger.
With our children, we had a rule that they were not allowed to go to Gary and ask about something that I had already answered for them. They couldn’t play us against each other and manipulate us to get the answer they wanted. I understand that in blended or divorced families this can get complicated, but although you can’t control what your spouse does, you can choose to stay consistent.
We never let our children tear each other down and call each other names. My children also weren’t allowed to dishonor Gary and me. The children knew that if they dishonored me, they would be in bad shape with Gary. There is an authority in the house, and there is a unity in the house that the children can rely on. A child might resent authority after having those consequences enforced, but in the long run a child values the sense of security that authority brings to a home. They know they are going to be fiercely protected and cared for. They know that you are going to keep your word.
Deuteronomy 4:9 says, “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live.” Don’t let God’s Word fade from your heart. Teach it to your children. That’s your goal. If you put the vision before you, it will be a whole lot easier to make the tough decisions. Anything that doesn’t line up with your goal has to go.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he” (Proverbs 29:18 KJV). Without a vision for your children, they will perish. You have to keep the end result in mind so you know the steps to get you there. When you have the vision in front of you, you can make the hard decisions.
ps…Are you looking for a good church? Be sure and listen on Saturday evening or catch the 3 services on Sunday for Faith Life Church!
(*Excerpt from “The New Vintage Family” by Drenda Keesee)
Drenda Keesee’s contagious zeal and humorous personal experiences help make her ministry of spiritual, emotional, and relational wholeness one that will bless your life and spark a new fire in your spirit.
A wife of over 30 years and a mother of five children, Drenda has ministered at churches, seminars, and conferences, and through the mediums of television and radio, for more than 20 years.
Her books, The New Vintage Family, Better Than You Think, and She Gets It are available wherever books are sold. In these heartfelt books, Drenda shares her personal journey and the life lessons that have brought her to where she is today, as well as practical answers that all people need to live a joyful life.
Drenda and her husband Gary founded Faith Life Now, a ministry designed to spread the message of freedom in the areas of finances, faith, marriage, and family. Tune in for their weekly messages here. Faith Life Now hosts conferences worldwide and sponsors both Fixing the Money Thing, which Drenda co-hosts with her husband Gary and Drenda.
Through their own life experiences, the Keesee’s have found the principles from God’s Word to be powerful and effective. At one point, Drenda was a young, suicidal feminist with no hope of ever being “good enough” for her own standards of perfection. She never wanted the “inconvenience” of a husband or children, and she was on her own path to success. But the stress of trying to achieve perfection and perform for love left her broken and used. She had success, but it was nothing compared to the pain and loneliness it had also brought.
That’s when God got a hold of her heart. It was there—at her lowest point—that she found the One who accepted and loved her, faults and all. Since that transformation, Drenda has had a passion to reach women who find themselves where she once was.
She married Gary after attending college, and there she found herself in a personal boot camp of sorts. She says, “I cried and told God, ‘I can do anything but be a wife and mother.’” She committed to learning how to do it God’s way. Through the many years of raising their children and struggling to make ends meet, Drenda learned from their mistakes. “I didn’t know how to be a wife and mother, but God saved our marriage, taught us how to parent our children for success, showed us how to have financial success, and then the irony of all ironies, He called us to ministry.” It’s truly because of these life experiences that Drenda can now share so many insightful principles for people who are now going through the same struggles.