Dictionary.com lists as a definition of consistency, “steadfast adherence to the same principles, course, form, etc.” Consistency with Kaitlyn has been an area where Amber and I have and continue to struggle the most.
We have our core foundation of how we want Kaitlyn to behave, things like being respectful, following our rules, not talking back, etc., and those are pretty much set in stone. We also have certain expectations of how she is to behave when we are out in public, but this one has a little flexibility.
Our big struggle with being consistent has been in administering discipline and establishing expectations. Where one of us will want to relax when it comes time to correct Kaitlyn, the other will be over the top on what is appropriate. We have closed that gap quite a bit, but there are times when we seem to not only not be on the same page, but seem to be in a different book. Usually, I am the one that is in the different area.
Consistency and adherence to routine are really important to us and to Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn needs to know what to expect at all times, and functions way better when she has that expected structure in her life. She really does not respond well to her consistent routine being upset too much. For example, we have discovered that being out of her usual school routine has not necessarily been a good thing for her. Because our usual rules are relaxed during her break, she pushes the limits of what she can do more now. To her, the rules are not relaxed, they are nonexistent. This is where us being consistent with our expectations has been critical; we still have certain expectations for her behavior and have tried to stick to them, despite her resistence.
School starts again in just a few days, and that means shifting right back into what has become a very effective daily structure. For Amber and I, it means really getting back to the foundation we have worked so hard on.