The Daily Groove

Rethinking Consistency

Conventional parenting wisdom states that parents need to "be consistent" in order to maintain their authority.

Flexible parents — those who are willing to take in new information and adjust course on the fly — are given labels like wishy-washy, spineless, jellyfish, waffling, and that shame of shames: permissive!

But isn't flexibility a virtuous trait? Isn't flexibility needed to thrive in the complex, fast-changing world of the 21st century?

So if somebody suggests that you should be more "consistent," tell them you are being consistent...

  • I'm consistently flexible.
  • I'm consistently following my heart.
  • I'm consistently trusting my instincts.
  • And my love is consistently unconditional.

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Thank You

I like this. It feels much more in line with my values than my efforts to be inflexibly consistent just for the sake of not changing my mind. I think the inflexibility comes out of a place of fear - fear of "losing" my "authority"? - and that's a sign that it might not be how I want to be as a mother.

Analisa, Mama to Meg 12/12/01, Patrick 12/24/03, Catherine 12/24/03, Ben 2/26/06