Avoiding Power Struggles with Kids

How often have you asked your child to do something, and you’re met with a ‘no’ or ‘I don’t want to’.

As our kids grow and become more independent, so does their need to feel power and control. However, if the balance is tipped and they feel disempowered or a loss of control, a power struggle can happen.. easily! So one way of avoiding this is to offer more proactive choice. That means a choice that works for you to give them more power. These might include:

The idea is for you to give 2 choices that work for you. You don’t care which one they pick.

Here are 4 reasons kids often need choice:

Feel in control

When kids feel forced or they feel like something is not within their control, the amygdala takes over, shutting down the prefrontal cortex and regulating the rest of the brain. In this case they are no longer able to think clearly.

Build confidence

Decision-making is an important aspect of building confidence. So when kids make a decision and it goes well, they are going to feel proud and this is going to help build confidence

Teach responsibility

By building small choices into the daily routine, you are teaching your child to be an active part of the decision-making process. Here they learn to manage both decisions and their outcomes (whether those outcomes are desired or not)

Cultivate a sense of value

One of the most important (and often overlooked) aspects of parenting is making your child feel valued. Children are often more creative and perceptive than adults and recognizing their small choices is an easy way to empower our children and acknowledge their worth. The result is less push back

Ultimately by providing choice you make life easier on you! You put more on their plate and less on yours so this way everyone feels like they have a win.

You could also do some power struggle prevention each morning by spending time—even just five minutes—connecting: snuggling, tickling, roughhousing, colouring or reading together.

Have you tried giving a couple of options and has this worked with your child?


Want to watch more on this? Check it out HERE

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