CARING FOR STUBBORN CHILDREN

Power Struggles Vs. Natural Consequences
By Theresea Hughes
http://www.free-toddlers-activity-and-discipline-guide.com/

When working with stubborn children the last thing nannies and au pairs should do is to get into power struggles. When caregivers try to show children that they are stronger, they are being as immature as the stubborn children.

Power struggles teach children to be fearful throughout life and to force others to do things against their will. As long as children are in no danger, adults should allow children to experience the consequences of their decision making.

Nannies should keep in mind that they may need to provide for children’s change of mind. Allowing natural consequences to occur reduces intense arguing and teaches children that they can sometimes be wrong and not be ashamed of making bad judgments.

Pick your battles. If a child wants to wear jeans on a hot day let her. If you argue, you will both end up angry and frustrated. Guaranteed, after five to ten minutes in the hot sun she will change into her shorts.

Natural consequences will work out her stubbornness without you having to persuade the child.

When children decide to change their minds, caregivers should not say, “I told you so.” Making condescending comments only adds insult to injury and takes the power of learning away from children.

Don’t scare or make children comply. Scaring children or forcing them to comply with your rules only makes children fear to their actions. Scare tactics do not help children learn real consequences of their actions.

What power struggles have you had working with children?

Comments

  1. This is my daily struggle. Every day the older child and I get in power struggles. He tries to negotiates everything. Drives me crazy. I keep reading on this site to pick battles and such but it’s hard. If the parents tell me they must wear something, or must do something it’s hard to do not enforce the parent’s high standards. I want to be able to stop arguing and say “Go ahead, don’t wear your mittens in the snow” and let consequences teach the child. But mom says kids absolutely must wear mittens. See the problem? Easier said than done.Felicia Career Nanny, Westport, CT

  2. Dear Previous Comment:Don’t worry about it. You can only do the best you can. You can discipline kids differently than the parents as long as it doesn’t disrespect their parenting philosophy (you certainly cannot spank or hit a kid.). But not getting into power struggles is something to strive for and to do whether or not mom and dad demand certain things get accomplished. Consequences will work with your mitten example. What kid wouldn’t wear mittens after touching the snow? Just try it. If it doesn’t work you can try something new. Discipline is all about trying new things while being respectful to the children. Good luck,Donna, Nanny of Mulitiples, IL

  3. Our power struggle is with everything. The older son argues about everything, negotiates, screams, hollers, you name it, he tries to manipulate to get out of doing everything. The simpliest of instructions: “brush your teeth” or “please put this in your backpack” turn in to arguments. Drives me crazy.Nanny North Carolina

  4. My power struggle is with my 8 year old daughter. My husband and I are teachers and we see what happens to kids when they are out of control and don’t follow rules and listen. I’m at my wits end. I don’t even want to be at home sometimes. Bedtime, bathtime, getting dressed and brushing teeth are the biggest battles. I never in my life thought I would hate getting up in the morning.

  5. I HAVE THE SAME PROBLEMS WITH MY 8YR OLD SON. JUST THIS MORNING I ASKED HIM TO CHANGE HIS SHOES FOR SCHOOL BECAUSE THEY TORE FROM THE SOLE. THIS TURNED OUT INTO A BIG ARGUMENT WELL TO MAKE THIS LONG STORY SHORT HE WALKED OUT THE ROOM AND SAID (YOURE A STUPID MOM). I SERIOUSLY NEED SOME HELP CONTROLLING MY SON.

  6. I have a 26 month old daughter. Usually she is very compliant. Sometimes she refuses to nap, tho she's very tired. That's when I tell her the Nap Monster is coming. Then she's asleep in 5-10 min. Why is it bad to use imaginary monsters to get kids to comply?

  7. Xandra, Most children are afraid of monsters.

  8. what natural concequences come after calling your siblings horrible names, absolutely refusing to even lay down at nap time, and trashing the room?..

Trackbacks

  1. […] professional nannies understand that the best way to teach kids is to let them learn from natural consequences. Professional caregivers also know that to effectively and positively discipline children they […]

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