The struggles of parenting


Parenting is one of the most challenging, yet meaningful life tasks. Unfortunately, popular wisdom and misconceptions about how to raise responsible kids can lead to ineffective communication and power struggles. Try  to avoid ineffective ways of communicating that lead to noncompliance and power struggles, or damage self-esteem. 

When parents go on and on, kids tune them out.  It is not necessary to tell the child all of the information at once. Rather, break it up into separate steps to be more digestible. Let the kid express his/her overall preference first, before bringing up all the obstacles.Many parents feel out of control and try desperately to control a situation by nagging or criticizing. The problem with nagging is that you are actually training kids to ignore you because they know there will be more reminders down the road. While very young kids, may need more assistance and instruction, effective parents allow the kids to take increasing responsibility as they grow older. Children develop empathy slowly as they mature, by experiencing your empathy for them. That’s why the expectation that young kids walk in your shoes and see things from your point of view may not be reasonable. The failure to do so does not mean they are a bad or uncaring kid. They are just being a kid — focused on having fun in the moment, and testing their limits to learn about what is acceptable. Calling your child “selfish,” or implying there is something wrong with them is also harmful. Kids internalize these negative labels and begin to see themselves as “not good enough.” Humiliating or shaming a kid can shape brain pathways in negative ways. Label the behavior as unacceptable, but the kid as still lovable.

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