The child-rearing principle of consistency, where you stick to the rules and follow through with consequences, makes a lot of sense. But because it’s so hard to live up to, this parenting rule is a source of guilt for many parents. Children ask for things all day long. Sometimes, it’s just easier, even automatic, to say no. But then, a moment later, it dawns on you that you really could have said yes. So you reverse yourself. To be thoughtful, purposeful, and unselfish every time a child asks for something is next to impossible because each day is different.
Your stress level has a lot to do with what you can tolerate. Maybe you’re tired and not in the mood to put yourself out. Then, when you come to your senses, it becomes painfully apparent that you were wrong. Giving in and being inconsistent courses through the routine of everyday life, no matter how many parenting books you’ve read that advise you to do otherwise. Recognizing this pattern is discouraging. Nonetheless, these nagging feelings (along with nagging children) remind you that it’s time to re-dedicate yourself, yet again, to being a more consistent parent.