5 Tips for Consistent Parenting

Mother and son
How many parents sigh or even find themselves rolling their eyes when they hear the word consistency? This is because consistency is tough and most parents do not feel like they are really achieving consistent parenting.

There is no one who is consistent one hundred percent of the time. Striving for consistency most of the time is neither unreasonable nor impossible, however. These are some of the top tips on how to become more consistent as a parent.

1. Why be consistent?

What is so important about consistent parenting anyway? The essence of this whole issue is this – if children are well aware of the consequences of their actions, meaning they can predict what will happen if they do something bad, then they are likely going to change their behavior. Consistency is what actually puts actions behind words. It is an indicator to your kids that you mean what you say.

It gives power to your word and prevents you from having to decide what action to take every time depending on how you feel at that moment, which can be exhausting and is not fair on the child. It therefore pays to deliver.

2. The role of planning

For there to be some consistency, you need to plan. Know what it is that you expect from your kids. This can be from the broad (performing well in school) to the specific (behaving in the mall). When you are well aware of your children’s idiosyncrasies, you will know what sets them off as well as the problem areas and then come up with a plan of action based on their behavior and the behavior that you expect from them. With all this in mind, you should then consistently implement your plan.

3. Involve the other parent

Regardless being in a traditional marriage or not, if both mom and dad are in the home, it is vital for both of them to be on the same page regarding expectations and discipline. It is therefore essential for both parents to sit down and discuss their plan of action. Both parents being on board with expectations, plan of action and consequences will add on to consistency.

4. Involve the children

Sources confirm that involving kids is a good idea. They need to have a say in the consequences and be sure that they comprehend the expectations. It is not fair to spring consequences and expectations to them unexpectedly. It makes more sense for kids to follow rules if they know the rules and what will befall them if they break them ahead of time.

Here’s a video on how to discipline kids:

5. Consistency is not the same as inflexibility

You do not have to be inflexible and rigid because you fear deviating from consistent parenting. Sometimes, flexibility is needed and that does not undermine consistency if you go about it in the right manner. You need to explain the change to your child if it is an exception to your rules and inform them that this will not be a habit.

If one of the consequences should be adjusted, be sure to talk to your family about it and then agree to make changes together. This is not inconsistency but it is being flexible and willing to make changes where one feels it is necessary.

And just for laughs, here’s a video on how NOT to discipline kids:

How to Choose Fun Educational Toys for Your Child

Scrabble banana

A fun educational toy is good enough as long as it helps your child develop his or her skills. For your babies, the toy can be as simple as assisting them to learn how to grab or grasp objects. For those older children, the toy could be something that will improve their logic and creativity skills. Here are some tips when it comes to choosing the best educational toy for your child.

What the an Educational Toy Should Consist Of

You should be the one who will judge if a certain toy will be both fun and educational for your child and don’t just rely on what the manufacturers say. As a parent, you can always evaluate a toy by checking out toy reviews like those at www.puzzart.com to discover if it is beneficial for your child’s skills and level before buying it. Here are some ways to find out if a toy can really educate your child.

1. Sensory Stimulator – These toys are very educational and important especially for young babies because they are still developing new skills. Check the toy as to what sense it can stimulate such as touch, aural, visual and so on.

2. Imagination
– The best educational toys should stimulate your child’s imagination. Most studies have discovered that wooden toys can improve the creativity skills of younger kids better than those electronic gadgets. However for an older child video games can offer a lot of imaginative potential and are not necessarily a bad thing. If you’re looking for a new gaming console for your kids this year, be sure to check out our PlayStation 4 vs Xbox One comparison here.

3. Social skills – These toys are those that will let your child play with other children such as their friends, siblings or cousins and this can help develop their social skills.

4. Self Expression
– These toys are those that can help your child express themselves. This could be toys that involve telling stories, taking photos, writing or artwork.

Should it always provide Fun and Enjoyment?

Naturally, toys are designed to be enjoyable for kids. If a certain toy is not fun for a child anymore, then they will not see it as a toy anymore. So other than focusing on its “fun” factor, you should also see if that toy will let your child learn something. This is one of the main reasons why it is very important to choose a certain toy that is suitable for the age of your child. You should also consider that the toy will not be too difficult for your child to play with. A toy shouldn’t be too easy or too hard for them to keep on playing with it thus, learning something from it.

The Parent’s Role

Other than the need to choose a toy that will be appropriate to your child’s age and abilities, you should also assist them in learning how to play a new toy so that they will know all the capabilities of that toy and the things that they can do with it. Parents should take time playing with their kids especially if they have given their child a new toy. By doing this, they will not only learn by playing with the toy but also learn by what their parents will teach them.

These are just some of the tips and there are still other ways for you to know if a toy is both fun and offers education for your child. Remember, fun educational toys which are the best for your child shouldn’t necessarily teach your child certain lessons such as science or math.

Are Plastic Toys Safe and Fun for Kids?

Toy Children

Plastic toys are very common to kids nowadays. However, you should be aware that there may be certain health risks when playing with plastic toys. So before buying one, you should ask yourself this question. Are plastic toys Safe for my kids? You can do a thorough research, ask an expert or better yet, read along because there are essential information here that will help you answer that question.

Why Are Certain Plastics Unhealthy?

Phthalates and BPA are some of the examples of compounds which are usually found in various kinds of plastics and they are known to be toxic. Several plastics are made with the use of these compounds and just imagine when your children might put them in their mouth. There are certain studies that these compounds may affect a human’s hormones.

Even though the guidelines of the government are now stricter when it comes to the materials that are being used to make toys, there could still be older toys inside people’s households that contain more of these toxic compounds. Even some fun educational toys can be made from plastic.

Phthalates are now being banned from being used to make plastic toys in the US. Aside from that, there are BPA-free plastic toys existing today and you will know that through the recycling numbers. Look at the number inside the plastics logo that you should find somewhere on every plastic toy. Numbers 3, 6 and 7 are the ones that should be avoided.

Choosing Toys that are Safe

Even though you will be choosing the safe plastics which have recycling numbers 1, 2 and 5, you should still know how to use these toys correctly. The chemicals which are in these toys will usually leech out due to higher temperatures so try storing them in a cool place and avoid using them near heat such as microwaves and hot liquids. When it comes to cleaning these toys, you should only use mild soap with water to avoid damaging the plastic.

When it comes to asking the question “are plastic toys safe?” it is quite confusing and hard to know. But by following the simple tips mentioned above, you will increase the chances of giving your child a toy that is safe to play with. You can also do some research on the toy manufacturer before buying a certain toy and know if they are using natural materials in making toys and if the manufacturer is listed on healthy toy databases.

If you are really in doubt of buying plastic toys for your child, there are other alternatives which are likely safer such as cloth toys and wood toys.