Power Struggles

I get this question a lot from parents, “How do I get my child to care about _____ (fill in the blank)?” Sometimes it’s cleaning their room, sometimes it coming to karate, sometimes it getting their homework done. Whatever it might be understand that you can’t motivate someone to do something they don’t want to do. As the old saying goes “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.”

But I know what some of you are thinking, “my child does what I tell them to do, they don’t talk back. I’m in charge of my household.” I hear you, but let me ask you a question, do you really want to work this hard to convince your child to do something or have them choose on their own? Power struggles don’t work out, try it with a teenager!

So what do you do? Give them a natural consequence for their decisions. If they choose not to clean their room they lose TV for the night. If they don’t do their homework they don’t get to play with the iPad or video games. You can use whatever is the relevant “currency” for your child, but this way your child is making the choice, therefore, owning the decision to act or not to act. Power of ownership comes from choice, NOT lack thereof.

Teach your child early how to make good and wise choices now and make your life easier in the future.

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