One of the most common problems parents and couples express are power struggles. Unless we understand why we get into power struggles with children or adults and learn how to avoid them in the future we keep having the same conflict day after day, or even year after year. Did you know, that, when children (or adults 😊) are defiant or getting into arguments, they are trying to communicate something to us? What they are trying to communicate is a basic need for power and control. When that basic need is not met, I promise you, children will get it met in either appropriate or inappropriate ways, whatever works or whatever we train them to do. Below you will find a few ideas how to fulfill their basic need for power and control and how to redirect power struggles. Make sure to apply your new skills in a kind and firm way.
1.Give your children appropriate power by putting them in charge of something, i.e. morning or evening routine. Depending on their age let them write their own chart with your help or use pictures. Make sure the chart includes the time and description of the task, and perhaps a check box. Ask them to be your helper or assistant, let them teach you something, or, making them feel valuable, i.e. asking for their advice.
2. Side-step the power struggle. This works with children and adults. Unless there is an emergency, walk away from the situation instead of getting into a power struggle. This takes the wind out of their sails and you are not feeding into it. Besides, I have not met anyone yet, that resolved anything while arguing. In fact, it just makes it worse and strains the relationship. When everyone is calm try to find a solution. Stay kind and firm through the whole process.
3. Do win-win negotiations with them (41/2 years and older). Say, “I can see how you want to win, that’s great, how can I win too?” When kids notice that you want them to win too, they become more cooperative. Find a solution that works for everyone. Stay kind and firm.
4. Give them choices. “Do you want to clean up now or in 5 minutes?” Or, “Do you want to help me clean the dishes or take out the trash?”
Please pass this on to anyone who you think could benefit from this. Thank you.
If you or anyone you know is interested in family empowerment, peaceful
conflict resolution, positive discipline methods, couples communication,
or, stress and anxiety relief in minutes, you may call or email Hilde.
All services are provided at your home, my office, via phone or skype.
Family Coach, Prof. Speaker
Stress and Anxiety Relief Specialist
(619) 379-7646, email: Hilde@HildeLCS.com
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