Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Tip from 2008: Avoiding the Power Struggle

Hello Triple B Members,

I am certainly no expert and I continue to have power struggles with my
daughter, however I have received a couple of tips along the way that are
helpful. Several people have mentioned that they have been experiencing
some challenging behavior with their little ones lately (which is par for
the course at this stage in the parenting game), so I thought I would share
a book that I found to be very helpful.

Lucky for me, one of my best friends is a child psychologist, so I turn to
her for book recommendations and advice quite often. One of the books she recommended to me in resolving the ongoing battle with power
struggles was "Parenting With Love and Logic" by Foster
W. Cline and Jim Fay. While I did not agree with the entire book, I found
the overall premise to be very helpful. Admittedly, the chapter about a
grocery store experience was a bit over-the-top, but the bits and
pieces I took from this suggestion really worked.

One thing that I have always had a difficult time with is patience. I am
unfortunately always rushing from here or to there and these are moments
when I have no patience for a power struggle over simple things like
wearing coats outside or bringing the entire toy box with us in the car.
Their suggestion is to stay calm, and give choices like: Do you want to
have milk before you go to bed, or juice? This, instead of the battle on
whether or not she was going to bed. We find ourselves laughing at some of
the absurd choices we come up with, and it's harder than it appears to
consistently think this way. What is easy to see is that it works, and
works well. Some of our biggest battles over dressing, or going to bed, or
eating dinner have become much easier and the "uh-oh" said calmly has
stopped some poor behavior in its tracks! What this book suggests is that
by giving them the opportunity to make non-essential choices, you
allow them to have some power, while still accomplishing your goal,
completely eliminating the power struggle.

I do embrace the fact that testing the limits is a natural and healthy way
for young children to learn. This book gave me some great insights on
how to facilitate and not discourage that type of learning, and yet still
teach the right behaviors.

Another one that has been recommended to me is:
"Kids, Parents and Power Struggles" by Mary Sheedy Kurchinka

For more information, check out:

"Kids, Parents and Power Struggles"

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