232: Minimizing Power Struggles // Denaye Barahona

Let me set the scene: Your four-year-old wants to wear her princess heels on a family hike. Your son wants to bring his new robot toy, a birthday gift from Grandma no less, to the children’s museum where you KNOW it will get lost and you just don’t want one more thing to keep track of. Your child asks to have a sleepover, and you aren’t sure if you’re comfortable with that. Your kids want to watch just one more episode of a show or prolong bedtime for that book you promised but never got to, and you just do not have the emotional energy for WWIII tonight.

Power struggles in parenting are a normal, daily occurrence, but they can get downright exhausting. Fortunately, our guest on the show today is going to teach us all about how to minimize power struggles in parenting.

Denaye Barahona is a mother of two and the founder of Simple Families, a podcast and online community that focuses on positive parenting, family wellness and decreasing the mental load. As a Mama with a doctorate degree in Child Development, Denaye’s perspectives are grounded in research, but more importantly real life. Here are her three takeaways for minimizing power struggles.





1) You don’t need to show your kids who is boss; they already know. The first step is noticing when a power struggle is starting. Often, it is hard to see what’s happening when we are in the thick of it, but once you notice and realize that you don’t have to show them who is boss, you can take a deep breath and move into the next steps in this process.


2) Develop a shared agenda with your child to increase respect and decrease struggle. Our children come with their own unique dreams, goals, and agendas. If we can seek to understand their agenda, they are going to be more likely to respect our agenda. For example,  instead of seeing their resistance as a lack of compliance, keep in mind that they are doing something that’s really important to them right now (like building a block tower), and we also have something that’s really important to us (like eating family dinner). How can we come together and see what each other needs?


3) Stand your ground, but don’t dig in your heels. We can stand lightly and be willing to take a step forward. And sometimes this looks like being willing to pivot, even if you said something and you committed. If it doesn’t turn out to be the right thing, can you give a little power back and lean into what your child needs rather than just what you had in mind? It’s important to be a sturdy leader in your family, but also compassionate and flexible, with the wellness of everyone in mind.


>>>Are these tips about power struggles helpful? What would you add to the takeaways? Tell us in the comments below.






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  1. Pingback: 258: Boundaries with Kids Part 2 // Stacey Collins - 3 in 30 Podcast for Moms

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