Kids naturally want to assert their independence just as parents feel they must assert their authority. If you find that you’re locking horns with your kids a little more often than you’d like, maybe you should reconsider what your ultimate goal is. Not every situation demands your child’s utter submission. Maybe, just maybe, you should consider flexing your position instead of your muscles.
Some of the things families fight about aren’t really that important. If you are having a tug-of-war with one of your kids (or even your spouse,) examine what you really want. As long as the shelf gets dusted, is it such a big deal that your daughter picks up the knickknacks one at a time rather than removing all of them first the way you do?
If your son insists on putting all the plates on the table before getting out the placemats and slipping them underneath, do you really care? Sure, it’s hard to see his logic (there isn’t any,) but letting him do it his way, will show him you can accept his need for a little independence and it doesn’t hurt anyone. If you make a big deal out of it, then the game is on.
Some battles are a little more complicated and warrant flexible parenting skills.
Here are some examples:
Your Child Goofed Around All Evening And Hasn’t Done His Homework.
Now he’s sleepy and wants to go to bed. You have told him he has to stay up until he gets it done.
And so he must, right? You put your foot down after all. No problem. Pick it up again. Parents are allowed to change their minds. If you try to force him to stay up and finish his schoolwork, chances are he’ll rebel, do a crappy job or fall asleep with his pencil in his hand. On the other hand, you could let him have his way. Go ahead and let him go to bed. Just wake him up an hour earlier than usual so he can finish his work before school. Don’t worry, you probably won’t have to do this too many times.
Your Child Hates To Take Baths
She stinks like the wet leaves she played in all afternoon. She really needs a bath, but bathtime is always a struggle no matter how much bubble bath and how many toys are available. Clearly the ultimate goal is cleanliness. Have you thought through your options?
Depending on her age, consider letting her take a shower or bath with Mom. You could even buy a spray hose that fits onto the bathtub faucet. I recommend that you don’t let her have control of the sprayer, however, or you are likely to have a dripping wet bathroom.
Kids like to have their say, so you might let her decide if she wants a quick scrub down with cold water or a longer soak in warm. She doesn’t have to know right now that the water from the spray hose can be adjusted warmer.
Published in: Family