As parents, it is our responsibility to set limits. And every family’s values and structure is different. It is important to have a conversation with your child about limits look like in your family long before the technology comes out so that he/she is clear on what the expectations and limits are. Being clear about the limits and actually following through are the keys to avoiding power struggles. If we bend and make exceptions here and there we are literally encouraging them to test the limits.
Do you want your little one to be happy and find success throughout their life? Do you feel the need to tour and enroll your child in the top schools in your city in order to get them into a good university one day? Do you think your child will be at a disadvantage if they are not involved in an assortment of activities and sports? If you answered yes to most or even some of these questions, then you may have already fallen prey to one of the sad untruths in raising children today:
Academics = Success. It’s just not that simple!
Incorporating more routine and consistency can help decrease power struggles and increase cooperation and fun in your home!
Every parent at one time or another has either thought about or made a chart for their child. It almost never seems like there is enough time to get out the door in the morning or get kids to bed without power struggles no matter how much time you have. The type of charts that I suggest using are not reward charts, because there are no stickers or prizes that your child identifies or earns. Yet, there are valuable gifts that are received... the gift of life skills and responsibility! Now, who doesn’t feel great about helping their child develop confidence, independence, and responsibility?!
Making time for exercise can make all the difference in how you show up as a parent, partner and professional. It is virtually impossible to be a calm, empathetic and loving parent when you’re depleted. Self-care can also be a win-win; not only do we feel better, we are modeling behavior for our children and creating opportunities for connection.
The election season is in full swing, and discussion about the various candidates permeates our homes and schools. An election year is a wonderful time to teach children about the electoral process and issues being debated, such as immigration, terrorism, and healthcare. But the media and most voters also spend a lot of time and energy debating the character of the candidates, their behavior, and how they represent themselves, so the election process also presents parents with a plethora of unique opportunities to teach core social-emotional skills, such as empathy, emotion management, and social problem-solving while addressing topics such as accepting differences, dealing with gossip, bullying, and name-calling.
All humans struggle for power and control over their own lives and young children are no different! Ideally we want our kids to do what we need them to without us having to do anything more than merely ask. Let's not kid ourselves, that is just not going to happen most of the time. "I said so" or "you have to" is about us asserting our power over them and can feel disrespectful to the child.
Our children have little to no control over much of their daily lives. That is why most power struggles revolve around their physical self or body.
The smile that lights up your day; that laugh that warms you up with joy and optimism; the ability to show you the world through innocent eyes: kids can be such amazing parts of our lives with their constant ability to learn and grow, teaching us how to see the big picture and to love someone so much it hurts.
And then they learn the word “No.”