Parenting Coach

Practical ideas for social, emotional and behavioral challenges

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Avoid power struggles.

What you can do

Avoid power struggles by looking for ways to involve your child in decision-making. Keep in mind that nobody likes being bossed around. Tweens and teens with learning and attention issues can have an especially difficult time with this.

When your child needs to do a chore or other task, try to build in choices. These might include letting him decide when or how to do a task or perhaps choosing between two tasks. Before you present him with options, make sure you’ll be comfortable regardless of which one he picks.

Praise your child for responding positively. As he gets older, ask him for more input in more areas of his daily life.

What you can say

“Jacob, you’ve made it clear to us that you feel you should be able to make all of your own decisions and shouldn’t have to listen to us. We hear you. And as you get older, we’re giving you more opportunities to make decisions and have a bit more freedom.”

“You’ve been very responsible recently about doing your chores and your schoolwork. We’re proud of you for staying on top of everything.”

“What are some of the decisions you’d like to have more control over? Why don’t you make a list? Dad and I will be happy to speak with you about it later this week and see what we might be able to work out.”

Why this will help

Kids feel empowered when you ask for their input. Letting your child help decide when or how to do a task will make him feel more invested in completing it. This kind of buy-in can help reduce friction and turn a potential battle into a win-win situation for you and your child.

35Found this helpful
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