Power Struggle: Who Has the Victory?

POSITIVE DISCIPLINE / MONTESSORI DISCIPLINE. Not controlling our emotions, hurtful words and punishment as a solution give rise to power struggles with our children.

"I'm the boss here!"
"I told you to do it!"
"Go to bed right now!"
"Do it now!"

For there to be a power struggle, Jane Nelsen tells us that we need at least two people and these phrases definitely invite an endless power struggle to take place.

How many times, in order to make our children obey, or for fear of losing authority in front of them, have we fallen into this fight. When it happens, both the children and the parents have the “feeling” that they are making a futile effort, they feel that they are losing control (in fact, they are), but each one refuses to give up “the fight” because they do not want to lose. , but the result is that, somehow, no one HAS THE VICTORY, we lose patience, then we feel guilty and end up punishing and we already know what the consequence of punishment is on our children.


Not controlling our emotions, hurtful words and punishment as a solution give rise to power struggles with our children.

Children's behavior is goal-directed, but the path they take is not necessarily the most correct, in this sense, when we enter into a power struggle, we look for the goal of our children and try to teach them a more appropriate path where both parties win. To avoid them, we could try:

1. Instead of issuing commands, ask thought-provoking questions, Jane Nelsen calls these “curious questions” (what do you think about…? what do you feel…?, what have you decided…?). So instead of saying, tidy up your room, maybe we could say, what can you do to make your room look clean and tidy?

2. Talk less and act more. Go up to your child and show him what to do, instead of saying "1000 times the same" from afar, expecting him to "obey" quickly.

3. Create routines and then remind him what you agreed to. Ahem. Your son gets up from the table when he finishes eating and goes straight to play, so we can remind him "what do we have to do after dinner?"

4. Jane Nelsen also recommends us to have a POSITIVE TIME OUT to calm down -us- and act thinking about what we are going to do and say, avoiding power struggles.

5. Give them limited options, this will give them the feeling that they do not have to obey everything to the letter and that they have the option to choose.

6. Practice self control. When we get into the power struggle we want to CONTROL everything, but the more controlling we want to be, the more UNCONTROLLED we become. The first person we have to control is ourselves.

7. Use humor. Sometimes it is the best solution in times of crisis and also serves to stop the power struggle.

8. Agree. Both parents have to handle the same parenting style so as not to create confusion in the children that they invite to look for "the best". Remember that both the permissive and authoritarian styles invite power struggles, opt for positive discipline.

9. Involve your children in solving problems. This makes the boys have a sense of belonging, are motivated to assume their responsibilities and are less likely to disobey.

10. Be consistent and consistent with what you SAY and DO.

11. Express what you feel by giving ME messages, avoiding blaming the other for what is happening in you internally "I'm super tired, help me with this so I can rest", this sounds better and is better accepted instead of "You are making me angry, obey me." once, or else…”

12. Be FIRM AND KIND at the same time. May your expression and tone of voice indicate respect for your child. A child who is treated respectfully is more cooperative.

13. Don't forget to ALWAYS GIVE YOUR LOVE MESSAGE. Sometimes we get so caught up in the power struggle that we forget to remind our children how much we love them.

14. Instead of looking for guilty FOCUS ON THE SOLUTIONS.

Positive Discipline teaches us that power struggles “create distance and hostility instead of closeness and trust. Distance and hostility create resentment, resistance and rebellion (conformism with low self-esteem). Instead, closeness and trust create a safe and trusting environment where there is no fear, guilt, shame or pain.

Text: Gina Graham, Psychologist – Child and adolescent psychotherapist. Certified Positive Discipline Trainer

“I have never seen a child with airs of power without an adult with airs of power near him”
jane nelson

Font: http://www.crianzapositiva.org/single-post/2016/03/23/Luchas-de-poder-¿Quién-tiene-la-victoria

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