This post about power struggle is a part of a short series. Please read the introduction “This is why your kids are not listening to you!” to better understand what the series is about. Also, please check the great resource I created – the best tips on how to get your kids to listen to you from 7 bloggers, based on their knowledge and experience! Thank you!
Are you ready for the power struggle?
In the last post, I explained that what kids need is the feeling of control over their own life. Yes, even the youngest children want power. Now, it’s not that I make monsters out of children! I’m not. It’s not the kids’ fault. As Amy McCready from Positive Parenting Solutions names it, they are hard-wired like that. We all are. You were a kid once too, remember?
As a Mom, you are probably used to make all of the decisions. It’s natural, you are responsible for your precious baby from day one. And in some way, you will always feel responsible. But your authority cannot limit your child’s. It seems to be an exaggeration, but it’s not. It’s a power struggle that can be fixed by balance.
Another utopian term, you will think. Kind of. But let’s assume that by empowering them you will gain not only adulting-ready children in the future but also less stressful current days. Is it worth a try?
Give the power to the little people
How to do that without actually losing control? Like in every relationship – choose your battles. To outsmart your kids you need to give them the feeling of independence and control over the things that are big for them (but not necessary for you).
Let them choose all day long!
- For breakfast, do you want whole-grain waffles or avocado toast?
- We are going to run some errands, do you want to go to Target or Aldi first?
- What do you want to play next?
- Which t-shirt do you want to wear?
It’s easy to do for you, right?
But for kids, those are things that make their day. They have control to make decisions, they feel important. And it’s all thanks to you! You gave them control. You teach them how to use it. There is no place for a power struggle because you are in one team. You gave control to gain control (or peace of mind).
Just to be clear though – I’m not saying that children should rule your world! I am suggesting you as a mentor can raise responsible, independent kids, who respect you as their role model. They listen to you because they trust you.
What happens in the alternative scenario?
What if your children don’t feel they are in control? They do the exact same thing you would do if somebody else makes decisions for you! They switch to the rebel mode, full resistance. It’s really helpful to stand in the kid position.
Imagine this: Your husband takes you to the hardware shop. He tells you it’s just for a couple of minutes. You got bored somewhere in the third alley, what do you do? Remember – you don’t have a phone to scroll social media. And you cannot touch anything. Stop talking to your husband, he needs to focus. No, you will not go where the home decor is, your husband needs to buy cables and you need to go together.
Yes, you guessed it. It’s your child at Walmart. It’s really not that weird that kids are getting crazy in the stores if you think about it. They didn’t decide to come here, they have no saying about what to do there or what to buy and they are bored as only 5 years old can be, or teenager with no money to spend.
So what happens in the end? Babies are crying, toddlers throw tantrums, kids are whining and mommies turn evil plotting the revenge. Let’s punish them!! Buahahahaha! Nope. That will take you nowhere. I tried. Who didn’t?! Time-outs, no sweets, no screen time. Sounds like the topic of the next part of the series, don’t you think?
In the meantime go ahead at check what else (besides power) your children really want!! (that is the next and last part)
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