It’s Ok That You’re Not 100% Consistent. Here’s Why.


Do you ever wish you could get your child to listen?

Every parent does. But for the parent of a neurodivergent child, it seems impossible to succeed.

Parenting therapies tell you that consistency is the answer. They’re not wrong, but they’re not 100% right.

Consistent variety is not just a strategy, it’s a catalyst for your child’s growth.

Don’t know what that means? Let me explain.

Biofeedback Without Equipment

Biofeedback helps children and adults change their behavior with subtle changes. There are different types, but the most common uses sensors on the body to detect small physiological changes. In studies, biofeedback has lowered the stress and anxiety of participants.

When people notice the life-changing power of biofeedback, they focus on the technology, forgetting that there’s something even more important — the consistency of the response. Biofeedback responds within milliseconds to a behavior.

The real power of biofeedback doesn’t require equipment at home. All you need is consistent responses.

Why Therapy Isn’t Working

Therapy, even biofeedback, might have worked at the beginning. The regular intervention helps your child work through challenging behaviors until it doesn’t. It’s almost inevitable that your child will plateau. This doesn’t mean that the intervention is bad. It’s more likely that it means you need more instantaneous responses outside of the therapy room.

Your child could come back from intensive therapies or programs showing some positive changes and behaviors, but the truth is, it won’t be long-term if you don’t follow up consistently. While short, high-intensity interventions can give you the head start you need, they are never the solution. The actual change comes from implementing strategies on a day-to-day basis at home.

Consistency Rewires The Brain

A small, consistent change may not seem significant on a daily basis, but it accumulates over time to bring about remarkable transformation. Research has shown that repetitive actions form neural pathways in the brain, making these actions more automatic over time. 

Think of your child’s brain like a forest, and forming habits is like creating trails. These trails are the neural pathways in the brain.

Now, imagine a daily habit as a person walking the same path through the forest every day. The more they walk, the clearer and more defined the trail becomes. This is consistency in action, and it mirrors how habits develop in the brain through repetition.

This process is similar to neuroplasticity, which is like the forest adapting to the repeated footsteps. As your child consistently performs a habit, their brain adjusts and forms stronger connections, making the habit more automatic over time.

New therapies or weekly interventions are like someone deciding to explore a new path in the forest. They involve taking bold steps to achieve quick success that can wear your child down, as there are not enough actual neurobiological changes happening in your child’s brain to make it long-term.

Consistent small changes are all about building sustainable habits and routines that are easy to maintain.

The Importance of Variety

You can’t always respond to your child the second they do something. That’s ok and even beneficial to your child’s learning.

Inconsistent reward is more powerful than consistent reward in shaping behavior. This is rooted in behavioral psychology, particularly in the concept of operant conditioning.

One famous study is B.F. Skinner’s research on pigeons. In his experiments, pigeons were trained to peck at a disc to receive food. Skinner found that pigeons were more likely to continue pecking behavior when the reward (food) was delivered unpredictably compared to when it was delivered consistently after every peck. This phenomenon is known as the partial reinforcement effect.

Inconsistent rewards lead to stronger and more persistent behavior because they create a sense of anticipation. Luckily, real life is full of unpredictability, so lean into it. Varying the rewards and reinforcements can motivate your child to learn.

Consistent Variety For Your Child

Speed in your responses makes a difference in your child’s growth. Whether that’s the millisecond response of biofeedback or simply playing and responding, your child will start thriving. Play isn’t always the same, so your responses won’t always be the same. Sometimes, you might not respond, and that’s good for your child’s brain. Consistency offers comfort to your child, and variety keeps things interesting.

If you want to learn how to teach your child, The Heavenly Home Program will guide you in balancing both consistency and variety in your parenting with videos, real-life examples, and personalized 1:1 assistance. Here’s how it works.