Avoid power struggles with children. If you engage in these struggles you will either lose
1. The battle
2. Your mind.
The fact is some children are argumentative and enjoy these power struggles. This is often part of their personalities and they actually seem to thrive on the struggle. Since personality traits are not easily, removed it helps to develop effective strategies to for success with these type of children.
First you need to remember…Do not argue, get defensive, yell or use sarcasm! Stay focused, stay firm, stay calm and stay clear.
Second when the child presents you with their argument …reply by using words like “Regardless” or “Nevertheless” and then tell your child very clearly what you want or need. i.e. “Nevertheless, I need you to pick up your toys.”
Thirdly stay calm. Your voice and mannerisms should exude confidence and control. Great leaders are followed because they seem exude confidence and control…remember people don’t follow shrieking people who seems to be yelling pointlessly.
Fourth offer the child two positive choices. No one including children want to feel as if they have no control. Giving two choices allows the child to feel like they have some way to control some of their world. i.e “You can pick up the blocks or you can pick up the crayons? Which do you want to do first?”
In each step remember you are in control and in charge. Your child needs you to be in charge, be consistent, and to provide structure.
Remember focus, firmness, calm and clear…off to win that battle!