“No, and you can’t make me!” shouts your child. When you feel challenged by your child you are experiencing a power-struggle.
Here are a couple of tips to reduce future power-struggles:
- Talk less; use one or two words For example, coat, hook or car, now. The more you talk the more your child feels powerful. Often the negative emotions escalate as well.
- Use loving guidance You can offer to hold the hand of a young child and walk them up to bed. Remember not to engage in talking. Stay friendly with your looks.
- Find useful ways for the child to feel valuable and powerful
- Teach children to say “No” respectfully Your teenage will need to know this so he or she can say “No” to peers. If “no” isn’t accepted early on, how will they do this later in their relationships? They will associate being liked with agreement.
- Offer choices Keep the choices limited the younger the child.
- Do the unexpected Sing, NOOOO!” or whisper it. Remember don’t engage in arguing with them.
- Let go of your position Ask an older child why their request is important to them. Negotiate a win-win solution. Maybe you won’t let them go to a certain party, but they could have a couple of friends over.
- Use a signal
Every now and then it is good to pause and reflect on your relationships! Reflection on relationships can help them to grow and develop. I will be posting suggested reflection questions.
Choose one of your relationships (friend, colleague, neighbor, sibling, relative) and reflect on the following:
- What do I love about this relationship?
- What qualities do I admire in this person?
- How does this relationship make me a better person?
Share your reflection with this person.
Caregivers of Aging Parents
It is a blessing and a burden to be able to care for your aging parent. The blessing is that it is a way to give back for all the things your parent has done for you. It is also a blessing that you have the health and ability to care. It is easier if you have established a close relationship over the years.
Often, however, it comes at a time when you are still caring for your own children, which can have you pulled in many directions. Or you may not have a close relationship and you feel resentful that the care is falling to you. To keep up with your own health, physically and mentally, is essential.
Here are a few helpful tips for the caregiver.
- Take time out for yourself each day. Take ten minutes in the morning to set the tone for the day. Just be quiet, take a few deep breaths and remind yourself that right now in this moment all is well.
- Don’t be hesitant to ask for help. Recruit your partner, siblings, friends and children for extra support.
- Have a trusted friend to whom you can vent when you feel overwhelmed, frustrated, angry or sad.
- Set clear boundaries. Communicate clearly with your parent what you are able to do and not do on a given visit and how much time you have.
I remember that with my mom she preferred my sister or I take her to an appointment, when she had her own siblings who were willing to help. Saying “no” to mom allowed her to have an expanded set of people to show her care and love.
There is more to say on this topic. How to handle the feelings we have will be addressed later. For now remember to BREATHE.