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June 26, 2008



This is a VERY important point:

"Which totally flies in the face of the standard myth that the only successful approach will be CONSISTENT application (the more perfectly applied, the better). On the up side, it matches the neurobiology research that shows greatest sturdiness of emotional function when parented with ... um, normal mucking up"

Best evidence is, absolutely CONSISTENT parenting actually *breaks* children. They never learn how to deal with the normal variety that is life. FAlling on your face, screwing up, being different; in short, being INCONSISTENT, is critical to your child's development. They need to know and understand that not everything works every time, that people and parents make mistakes, and that they can survive those mistakes.


...and I think we all know the hobgoblin quote. :) I agree, absolute consistency ends up bureaucratic in a Kafka-ian sense. Not how I want to parent, thanks. It's like "zero tolerance" policies that strive so hard for perfect consistency that they end up being zero judgment.

I much prefer hedra's concept of being consistent on a more abstract or philosophical level--if it's a matter of safety like playing in the street, you'll find me pretty rigid, but realistically if it's about whether you can do X, I might be able to be persuaded...sometimes...and that's OK. You will encounter this throughout your life, assuming you interact with people.


Insightful, as usual. I've been thinking about this lately as we work through some behaviours that are typical-2-ness, but at the same time need response. Feeling guilty when my response varies too much (from the party line "whatever you do, be consistent") but thinking more that a varied response is a good thing after all. So, thanks.


Absolutely! I think varying your approach (within reason) is a great way to model for your kids that there are different ways that can work to calm down, figure things out, whatever. Not only so that they can have different tools for their own use, but also so they can accept that other people have other ways of doing things.

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