Thursday, November 29, 2007

Win The Battle Might Mean Losing the War

CONTROL. A big word with RAD. The child wants it. They have different ways of trying to gain control of a situation. Physical domination...talking nonstop or silly questions to control a conversation....passive aggressive behavior where they think they are in control and don't think you know it....bossiness....cuteness....arguing or saying things to make you angry.....refusing to eat, groom, do chores.......I think the list could go on forever. They constantly change the tactics to maintain control. And us big mature do we react when we try to keep control in our households? If your like me, your first thought makes you hang your head. Well, if we realize the need for control is driven by a need to feel safe, we react by not reacting much of the time. Staying calm..saying the opposite of what they are trying to get us to say...smiling and hugging when they want yelling and stomping off....answering silly questions with silly answers.....The hard part is remembering. We don't need to WIN the battle. We need to make them feel safe. Focusing on winning each battle through dominance and controlling the situation through force can cause our children to take steps backwards. When we make them feel safe, show them we are strong enough to use self control and that we love them no matter what THEN we win the battle whether it looks it or not. Easy to do? NO. Can it be done? YES. With lots and lots of practice. Remember how it looked when our kids learned to ride their bikes. They fell down a lot. Parents fall down a lot. We get up and keep trying because we love our kids. Practice practice practice.


forgiven said...

I'm amazed at how you always think of your children, and manage to make it all appear easy, in your relationships with them. God is truly the light of your life. You are such a wonderful blessing to me. I always look forward to seeing, and talking with you. God has blessed me with many wonderful friends. By the way tell A way to go. I think it's wonderful he broke the school record in free stle. Well catch ya later.

Tami Boesiger said...

"We don't need to WIN the battle. We need to make them feel safe."

Great advice for any parent, Brenda. Thanks.

Renee said...

Dang it. I am forever going to be fighting this battle. Good post and info!

Brenda said...


Aren't we all friend?

suzie said...

Wow, that is a great post.

I always thought that control vs. control is a big issue here:

The adults think they are entitled to have control, and forget how to make the children feel they are in control.

This is also an issue with punishing or consequences.

On the one hand, they say that one should "go through with consequences" in order to provide a safe framework.

On the other hand: who says the adults are always right? Can't they admit to an error, can't the negotiate, can't they sometimes back down?

Those punishments or consequences often trigger very hard reactions, rages, fits, etc: is this really the way to go?

Wouldn't it be better to shrug off the situation with humor, deescalate, and try again later?