By Melissa Ford
As parents, we know what that means. We ask our children to do something, anything and they don't! Instead, they whine, cry, ignore us or flat-out refuse when we tell them it's time for bed, or ask them to pick up their rooms, or do their homework, or get along with their siblings or . . .
Why do power struggles start in the first place?
Most of us believe it's our children's failure to do the simple things we ask, but if we dig beneath the surface the real culprit is our belief that we have no choice but to feel angry, frustrated or irritated (unhappy) when our kids won't do what we ask.
Truth be told, we do have a choice and feeling good first, before we tackle any concern, is a paradoxical strategy that delivers powerful results.
Really? Feeling good, calm, comfortable is my first step?
It's been my own parenting experience over the last 20 plus years (as well as the parents I coach) that choosing calm and comfort settles my mind, getting me out of the power struggle with my child. From this place of ease, I have greater clarity about the important values I want to teach, and I possess a stronger commitment to stay the course especially during those challenging times.
Okay, but how do I prioritize my good feelings?
By taking a Step UP so I can access my creativity and power.
Envision a ladder with four or five rungs. Climb this mental ladder, starting from the lowest rung of reactivity, fear and worry (often our normal problem-solving mode), then climb the ladder, moving upwards, into your whole brain thinking. At the very top, out of the fray, you gain perspective, harnessing your imagination, joy and creativity. High up on this ladder, you can begin to create loving, powerful ways to parent your child.
Next time - Step up from the power struggle to motivate your child with ease!