Power struggles

It takes two to engage in a power struggle. If we are constantly finding ourselves in a power struggle, that is a sign that we must change our behavior in order for the child to change his. Having a plan of action (different than what you have been trying) is most important. Obviously what you have been trying has not worked. What is the issue? Why is your child doing what she is doing? There is always a reason. Does she need some help or tools to help her be successful? And/or is she doing it because she can? These things must be asked and answered. What works is stating the command – or giving a choice — then letting the child know what the consequence will be if it is not followed. It could be as simple as “you may play with the ball in the front yard or the backyard. You decide.” If the child does not listen, you could say “you may play with the ball outside – if you continue to play with the ball in the house, it will be taken away.” If the direction is still not followed, the consequence must be followed through. I have found that this creates peace and empowerment instead of power struggles and frustration.

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