Power struggles are inevitable. They spring from what looks like competing interests of loving people at very different ages and stages. The fact that you and your child get into power struggles means that you and your child are each doing the most appropriate thing you can think of. Your job is to be the parent, keeping life safe and somewhat ordered. Your child’s job is to keep from feeling helpless in the face of so many decisions that are out of her hands.
Take a moment to consider your relationship with your kids. Remember that you can influence your child positively, but mostly only when they feel the connection with you. Here are some tips when dealing with power struggles:
- Don’t take it personally. Remember that your child’s efforts to try and control situations stems from a healthy impulse to want to meet his/her needs.
- Identify areas where you can appropriately empower your child.
- Give them age-appropriate responsibilities, this conveys your confidence in their capabilities, which will empower your child.
- Respect their opinions. Listen. Often the very experience of being heard can calm a child and make them feel supported. Even if what your child is suggesting isn’t appropriate at the time, having the freedom to share is validating.
Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.
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