Your child pushes their sibling down while you’re at a friend’s house, you ask them to apologize, and they say NO and run off.
You ask your teenager to clean their room and they respond with, I’ll do it when I get around to it, as they close the door in front of you.
If you are feeling heat rise in your body reading this right now, pause. Take a long breath in. Let it out through your mouth while you say, “pbpbpbpbp”.
As our children grow and discover and desire their autonomy, we can find ourselves in power struggle after power struggle.
When we set a necessary limit or simple request, and our child responds with a refusal, our desire to be viewed as right or as the authority can push us into a power struggle.
The desire to be right, to be viewed as the authority, to be respected, and so on are rooted in our egoic beliefs about who we are as a parent and how we “should” be treated by our child.
In power struggles, no one wins.
Both the parent and child are more likely to raise voices, demand, feel frustrated or angry, all of which are signs of dysregulation.
So, when you find yourself in a power struggle (where safety is not or no longer a concern):
Remember you are the adult
Again, this doesn’t mean that because we are the adult, we “deserve” to win.
There is nothing to be won.
But as adults, we understand and remember that:
– We do not need to be “right” and we do sometimes need to set limits
– Our children will not always like our limits (this is okay)
– We may not always like our child’s response to our limits (this is okay also)
– If our child is dysregulated because of the limit, we can remain calm in our choice and empathize
– When we sense that voice that desires to be “right and respected” we can stop, breathe, and say,
“You’ve had enough to say already, the WISE parent in me IS HERE now.”
Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.
More articles on www.MrMizrahi.blog