Parents and children both can walk away from power struggles feeling disconnected, exasperated, and confused. Even when one party gets their way, there are usually never any true winners. Here are 7 Strategies for avoiding power struggles in the first place.
1. Identify Why The Power Struggle Is Happening
“A common reason for power struggles, is a lack of balance in connection and cooperation between parents and children. Often parents are focused on control, demands, or threats, and children are faced with unrealistic expectations. That very feeling of powerlessness leads to children trying to find, prove and use any power they may have. For instance, a child may refuse to eat, use the potty, get dressed for school, slam doors or give an answer because they feel the need to control something. Often the only “something” children get to control in their life is their response to a demand.” Threatening the relationship or sense of connection with the child through shaming, threatening, and force can force the behavior but doesn’t teach cooperation. “These negative interactions also erodes the parent-child relationship, diminishes self-esteem and let’s be honest, these power struggles are exhausting for everyone!”