LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: How to prevent inconsistent parenting.

That’s when parents don’t use the same response or discipline for the same mistake over time, or between parents​​. Experts say parents need to be consistent because inconsistency is one of the major reasons why children develop behavior problems. Research has shown that when mixed messages are sent by parents, it teaches children that rules are flexible.

Here are some examples of inconsistent parenting from to look out for and correct:

*Rules enforced inconsistently at different times

*Rules being enforced inconsistently in different environments

*Rules exempted from other siblings

*Rules contradict between parents

*Erratic punishment

Here are some quick ways to prevent inconsistent parenting:

*Only set enforceable rules

*Use reasoning in place of empty threats

*No favoritism

*Collaborate, don’t contradict the other parent

Experts say, by following those tips and staying consistent with rules and routines — it’ll help provide boundaries for children to understand, help them to organize and integrate information, and teach them how they should behave.