What To Do When You Find Yourself in Power Struggle

Your child pushes their sibling down while you’re at a friend’s house, you ask them to apologize, and they say NO and run off. ⁣⁣ 
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You ask your teenager to clean their room and they respond with, I’ll do it when I get around to it, as they close the door in front of you. ⁣⁣ 
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If you are feeling heat rise in your body reading this right now, pause. Take a long breath in. Let it out through your mouth while you say, “pbpbpbpbp”.⁣⁣ 
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As our children grow and discover and desire their autonomy, we can find ourselves in power struggle after power struggle. ⁣⁣ 
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When we set a necessary limit or simple request, and our child responds with a refusal, our desire to be viewed as right or as the authority can push us into a power struggle. ⁣⁣ 
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The desire to be right, to be viewed as the authority, to be respected, and so on are rooted in our egoic beliefs about who we are as a parent and how we “should” be treated by our child. ⁣⁣ 
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In power struggles, no one wins. ⁣⁣ 
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Both the parent and child are more likely to raise voices, demand, feel frustrated or angry, all of which are signs of dysregulation. ⁣⁣ 
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So, when you find yourself in a power struggle (where safety is not or no longer a concern):⁣⁣ 
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Stop⁣⁣ 
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Breathe⁣⁣ 
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Remember you are the adult⁣⁣ 
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Again, this doesn’t mean that because we are the adult, we “deserve” to win. ⁣⁣ 
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There is nothing to be won. ⁣⁣ 
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But as adults, we understand and remember that: ⁣⁣ 
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– We do not need to be “right” and we do sometimes need to set limits⁣⁣ 
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– Our children will not always like our limits (this is okay) ⁣⁣ 
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– We may not always like our child’s response to our limits (this is okay also) ⁣⁣ 
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– If our child is dysregulated because of the limit, we can remain calm in our choice and empathize⁣⁣ 
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– When we sense that voice that desires to be “right and respected” we can stop, breathe, and say, ⁣⁣ 
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“You’ve had enough to say already, the WISE parent in me IS HERE now.” ⁣⁣ 
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