How to Put an End to Power Struggles
Everyone loses in power struggles. They begin even before age two when kids learn they can assert themselves by saying no, then continue up to the teenage years and even into adulthood. Although power struggles with kids are a normal part of parenting, some strategies can help reduce how frequently they occur.
1 | Understand why you struggle
Power struggles occur when people hold different views. We tend to have power struggles with our kids when they “don’t do as they’re told,” making us feel powerless and out of control.
Power struggles are rarely about our kids’ actions. We rarely get into struggles because our kids don’t put their toys away or have to be told to brush their teeth 20 times. Power struggles are often about kids’ challenging our position as parents and our need to feel more in control.
Understanding that kids’ behavior does not necessarily undermine our position can help change our perceptions and reduce struggles. How do you react when you’re asked to do something you don’t want to do? Putting yourself in your kids’ shoes can also help you change your perception of their misbehavior and see your kid’s resistance from a different perspective.
2 | Decide not to get into a power struggle
You know how they say that dropping your tone and speaking lower than you normally would might help you yell less? Using fewer words can also help you avoid getting into verbal struggles. Verbal arguments with kids can go on and on. The best way to avoid getting into a power struggle is to avoid engaging in a verbal argument.
According to Kathryn Kvols, using…