Recently we addressed how to stop yelling at your kids, even when your stressed. It's a great start, and can be super helpful. But what if there's more going on with your kids that needs to be worked through? That's what we'll be talking about today!
I could tell by the look on his face, he was getting ready to dig his heels in. And I could tell by the feeling in my chest, I was too. We were about to be locked in yet another battle where no one could win. We both thought we were right, our ego needed us to be right. But instead we were both going to lose. Not the argument, one of us would win that. But we'd both lose another small piece of that connection we have by engaging in another battle of the wills.
I knew from a very young age that my 8 year old has the same strong will that I was gifted with. It is a gift, but at times, especially when parenting a strong willed child, it can seem like a curse instead, for both of you. Sometimes it's just about the ego, but more often it is a cry for help and attention. You see, we've been through several big life changes over the past two years. First dad stopped working when the pandemic shut everything down. He stayed home with our son to do virtual school for months. Then we moved from Florida to Georgia last July, had a baby in August, and started homeschooling in September.
Sometimes when kids are acting particularly nasty and defiant, it's a reflection of the turmoil that is happening internally. It's really no wonder he's struggling with everything that's gone on. And the cherry on top is that he had to leave his amazing therapist in Florida and we've struggled to find a decent one since moving to Georgia. We are still looking, but in the meantime there are things we can do at home to help ease the battles.
Now, when we start to engage in a showdown, I stop and ask myself, what does my child need? Does he need boundaries and consequences, or does he need to feel safe and loved. Instead of contributing to the escalation of the situation, I ask him if he'd like a hug or a break, which helps to deescalate the situation instead. Instead of creating a rift between me and my son, I'm building a bridge.
Tell me, have you been in a power struggle with your little before? Does it end productively or does it just create chaos and hurt feelings?
If you'd like to connect and chat more about parenting struggles and solutions, make sure you pop on over to my free community on Facebook. If you find it's not for you, no biggie. But what if that's where your tribe is?
If you are looking for a book to help you get through the power struggles, you might want to check out The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. It's super helpful if you have a kid who is easily frustrated and seemingly "stubborn".
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