- Is your child the enemy, or a terrorist?
- Do you refuse to negotiate with your child?
- Do you create a united front with your spouse, against your child?
- Do your children combine forces, against you?
- Do you have battles with your child?
- Does one of you win each battle and the other lose?
- Do you have a strategy for winning?
- Do you shoot down your child's requests?
- Do you use your physical power to get your way?
- Does your child take advantage of you?
How To Make Peace In Your Home
Step One: Adjust your eyes and ears. Look at your child as a person, just like you, only with different ways of expressing needs. Look at your child's actions as expressing needs. Listen and respond to those needs.
Step Two: Adjust your mouth. Choose your words with care. Using war vocabulary to describe your child and your interactions with him sets you both up for an adversarial relationship.
Step Three: Adjust your attitude. If you focus on winning against your child, you may win a battle, or even most battles, but you will still be at war. And the longer you are at war with your child, the more chance there is for you to lose some really important things, like your child's trust, respect, or love.
You can be your child's partner. Her best friend. Her advocate. You can support her and let her be who she is, right now. You can focus on your relationship with your child right now, instead of on growing your child into perfection.
When you partner with your child, you both win, just by being on the same side.
I was inspired by the following parenting advice from an article I read this morning (I added the bold):
Whatever you decide to implement in your family, stick to it! Be the boss and if you get resistance just answer, “because I said so.” You don't have to be mean about it and you don't have to negotiate. I like to say to my kids, “we don't negotiate with terrorists.” It is just another way of saying, “I'm the boss and what I say, goes.”