Let us begin by defining the term, “power struggle” in relation to parenting. A power struggle is when a child refuses to do something that a parent wants to be done. In other words, a battle of the wills as the parent says, “yes,” and the child says, “no.”
I believe that every parent who has raised a toddler has gone through a “power struggle.” While some parents can stand battling things out with their kids on a daily basis, experts say that going through this kind of family interaction over and over again is not only pointless but can also be damaging for both the kid and the parent involved. Power struggles often leave parents feeling disrespected or guilty while it has been shown to cause children to develop social problems and dysfunctional behaviors.
As parents, it is imperative for us to impose control and authority over our kids, we must not allow ourselves to become power-drunk or over-controlling and get into fights with our children over the littlest things. Sometimes we should allow our kids to face natural consequences rather than trying to force them to do something they don’t want to do.
Remember, when you engage in an argument with your child, you’re just giving him more power.
For some really good ideas on how to avoid power struggles with your child, read: “8 Power Struggles Parents Should Let Go (and why).”