Power struggles usually begin during what many refer to as the “terrible twos” and can continue through out the teen years UNLESS you choose not to participate. Your level of participation depends upon your need to be right or in control.
Parents need to take the position that your relationship with your child is not a platform for battles. It is not one side against the other. Conveying to your child that you are their resource for help, guidance, and support from a very early age will go a long way toward establishing a sense of “team work” rather than a “you against them” mentality
This needs to be expressed verbally as well as modeled by your attitude and approach to the varying situations that occur. Children, for the most part, will learn from what they see. They will also learn from their own experience.
If a child sees his parent approach situations with an open mind, ready to listen to opinions of others, he will model this behavior in the situations he finds himself experiencing as well. If he sees his parent approach life with a “my way or the highway attitude” this will most likely become his approach as well.
Children make mistakes. Whether through their attitude or choices, they are going to do and say things that are not what parents believe is appropriate. The reaction of the parent is what will determine in the child’s mind if his parent is on his team or if they are on opposite sides.
My parents raised five children, of which I was the oldest. From as far back as I can remember they had one rule…be respectful. It was instilled in each of us that our thoughts, opinions and ideas were important and respected.
They made sure we knew they wanted to hear all of them. It was also clear that we had the right to express our thoughts, opinions, and ideas in every situation as long as we did it in a respectful way. It didn’t take long to figure out that it was in our best interest to be respectful. When we weren’t, the conversation ended! My parents maintained strict personal boundaries that made it clear to us what they were not willing to accept and that was disrespect.
We also knew that they loved us unconditionally and that their highest concern was for our safety, emotionally and physically.
Because we were allowed to express ourselves freely, we also learned to listen. During discussions, Mother would say, “I have heard your opinion or thought or idea, (whatever the case was); now it is my turn to speak and your turn to listen.” And we did. By example and through the process that had begun as soon as we could speak, we learned that our parents were fair and when the result was not as we hoped we always walked away knowing their reasons.
I remember a time I was at a friend’s house and witnessed an exchange between her and her mother. I was shocked to hear after my friend asked her mother if she could do something, her mother replied “No!” My friend asked her why, and her mother responded with, “Because I said so!” I also remember my friend walking away and muttering under her breath that she hated her mother!
Looking back I can see that the attitude of the mother set the tone that this was a dictatorship mentality rather than a relationship mentality.
There will without a doubt be times, as there were in my growing up years, when emotions will take over, the heat of the moment will surface and the exchange will become disrespectful on the child’s part.
Those are the times parents need to model the behavior they want to see in their child. Be calm. Take a deep breath. State your boundary of only accepting a respectful attitude and put it in their hands. Reiterate that you care about their feelings and thoughts, that you are willing to have the discussion and then offer them the choice to continue the conversation respectfully or stop it.
Children will be more apt to respond in a reasonable way when you allow them to reach a conclusion through discussion and mutual respect than by being controlled without explanation.
Denny Hagel is a child advocate and parenting coach, devoting over 25 years to the success and well being of all children. She is the published author of over 125 articles on parenting, many of which have attracted international attention in over 24 countries.
Denny was blessed with forward thinking parents who raised her with an understanding of her value as an individual, her innate power to choose by way of her thoughts, ideas, opinions and beliefs, thus, instilling in her a strong sense of personal responsibility for what happens in our lives
She is the founder of Awakened Parenting LLC, a company dedicated to helping parents release parenting paradigms of the past and consciously choose to raise their children to approach life with a positive mindset and strong sense of self. It is Denny’s passion to combine what she learned through her formal education in early childhood education and psychology and what her parents instilled in her and pass this on to all parents.
The C.P.R. Program
for Parents & Teens: Conflict Prevention/Resolution
It's NEVER too late
(or too early!)
"Forget blindly following personal nature or past experiences. The Missing Secret to Parentingis a must-have guidebook!"
~Alisa Weinstein, author Earn It, Learn It
Is Your Child at RISK?
WHAT READERS ARE SAYING...
"Just received Mini-Me Syndrome and can't believe I have been guilty of exactly what you describe. I consider myself a conscious parent and yet I never realized how I was sabotaging my kids. Thanks Denny for writing this."
"Mini Me Syndrome contains vital information that will supplement every parent's desire to provide their children with the best foundation upon which to grow and create a great future for themselves.
Author Hagel describes the importance of awareness; awareness of ourselves and the ways in which we pass along the beliefs we hold regarding our own, or the world's limitations. We all do this, not only to our children but to our friends and other family members as well. Denny suggests specific ways that we can identify this in ourselves and alternatives that we can easily use to circumvent passing these same limiting patterns along to our kids.” ~ James Andrews, author of “The MindTech Principle”
“Mini-Me Syndrome shares with the reader the secret to giving your children the life they want to live. And surprise…it all starts with you, the parents. By helping to give your child high self-esteem and a positive attitude at a young age, you as parents can help your child achieve all they want to and to be the person that they desire to be.
Positive mental awareness is a learned trait and this book helps you understand the basics behind it. Denny Hagel shares with you, in easy to understand language, the 6 tips on how to avoid the “Mini-Me Syndrome” from showing up in your life and that of your child. Remember, as she says “Choice is what determines who we are and what we will achieve.”
All parents and grandparents need to read this information filled e-book. The future of your child may just depend on it. Mini-Me Syndrome made me think about how we are raising my eleven year old son.” ~Philip Nork
“The information presented in Mini-Me Syndrome blew me away! NEVER had I ever realized how the innocent comments we make as parents can have such an impact on our children. I am so grateful for this awareness. Thank you!” ~Gwen Roberts
“Amazing! As a result of Mini-Me Syndrome I have become mindful of the way my husband and I talk to our boys. Seeing them as individuals is already showing results in how they get along with each other. We are definitely enjoying the peaceful atmosphere in our home!” ~Jill Aiken
I encourage everyone to take advantage of this free e-Book. The information in "Becoming an Awakened Parent"has encouraged me to really think about what I want for my children. I have a clear idea now of how to help them be successful. ~Tracy Halley
"Wow, Denny. This is great. It makes such good sense to make them think about what they want and why they want it. I sure wish someone would have guided me to critical thinking and decision making as a young girl, perhaps it wouldn't be so difficult today. Thanks for putting this out there for our parents of today, good stuff for our leaders of tomorrow." ~Carla Gardiner
"Denny, this is a great example of helping our children operate in their true identity, going against the common current of peer dependency. I can't help but wonder what it would be like if we all raised our children (and were raised this way ourselves) without control, fear, and shame - the three most common motivators and effects. Thank you for speaking up for the next generation!" ~Susan McKenzie
"Hi Denny, Wish I had read this 30 years ago when I was raising my 4 children! They ultimately did turn out to be wonderful, loving, and amazing adults who now all have children of their own. Your information is timeless and I can continue to use it with my Grandchildren. Thanks!" ~Carol Douthitt
"Denny, thank you so very much for giving me tools to be a better parent..! It's obvious how much you care....." ~Dr Scott
"Denny ... Where were you 50 years ago ...??? I was brought up in a dictatorship and it totally colored all of my relationships for a very long time. I don't have any children of my own, but I was responsible for managing lots of people from diverse backgrounds, so I can totally relate to what you wrote here. Only when I moved from "it's my way or the highway" to "let's work on this together and give me feedback on what is going on for you" was I able to create cohesive, top-performing teams. The residue of childhood goes with all of us for a long time. Excellent info !!" ~Rose Mis