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Instruction Manual for Kids: Choosing Your Battles (Part 2)

Last week I shared that we are going to begin to transition towards a focus on our actual relationships with our children.  Over the past several months we have had a stronger focus on individual responsibility and different parenting techniques – that was intentional.  If you are new to this series, I highly recommend you read last week’s post to set the framework.

‘You are the instruction manual you wish you child came with.’  This is the core message of this series.  As the parent YOU set the tone and boundaries of EVERYTHING.  You model how to behave, to talk, you are constantly training them .  This relationship is sacred ground – you cannot approach it with a ‘who-do-they-think-they-are’ attitude. Rather you need to tread with a ‘don’t-you-realize-who-YOU-are’ mindset.

As you convene on the battle ground of WILLS there are several  points to consider:

-The hallmarks of a healthy relationship are evidenced by kindness and mutual respect – choose your words wisely.

-The ‘parent/child battle ground’ isn’t the place where the parent should deal out their issues – you will either knowingly or unknowingly take your issues out on your children.  There is a HUGE difference between the ‘parent’s battle ground’ (where you resolve within yourself and/or your child’s other parent what your values are) and the ‘battle ground of parenting’.

Ffrom the parent’s perspective, the ‘battle ground’ isn’t the place where you discover who the victor/authority is—it is where the child’s WILL get’s parented. You should always approach this relationship with the end goal of developing a healthy, well balanced child; not asking your self, ‘how do I win this one?!?

-If you bring (or allow) emotion/drama to the conflict; then there will be emotion/drama – don’t let the battle become a ‘no holds barred event’ – bring peace and maturity.

-If you make a mistake, turn it into a teachable moment.

– Don’t fight with your child, fight FOR your child.  Their emotions and mindsets are literally dominating their WILLS.  See your encounters as a  a chance to build them up.  These training times have the potential to equip them them to deal with their own issues as they mature.  Be their biggest cheerleader and train them.

-Set clear goals and expectations.  Clarify Confusion. Don’t punish misunderstanding.

-Respect your child’s privacy.   Keep discipline-related encounters private.  Don’t embarrass your child by making their mistakes general conversation with friends – even if your kids aren’t present.  This is a habit to make even if your children never know because it’s a reflection on your level of relationship with your kids.

Allow your child to voice their side, but keep their attitudes in check.  Realize that people would rather be understood than be correct (and your kids are people!).

When you meet at the battleground of WILLS your job is first and foremost to set tone and attitude.  You have the advantage of years and wisdom.  You may not have the ‘answers’, but you can still model appropriate behavior and attitude.

These are just a few quick, but weighty points.  Like I said last week, Parenting is the ‘hardest, easy thing’ and the ‘easiest, hard thing.’  Stay focused, encouraged, and empowered.  Intentional parenting will always produce healthier kids than defeated and discouraged parenting.

Until next Friday, have a good week!


This post was linked to The Welcome Home Link Up at Raising Arrows, Better Mom Mondays at The Better Mom, Seasonal Celebration Sundays at The Natural Mother’s Network, Living Well Wednesdays at Women Living Well

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