New Year Kickoff Challenge -Day 3 (Jan. 28th – Feb. 1st)
New Year Kickoff Challenge -Day 3 (Jan. 28th – Feb. 1st)
*This free challenge has ended, but please stay tuned for our next 5 day mini-course happening in January 2020*
Ready for our 3rd lesson? Remember these lessons are designed to be SHORT & DIGESTIBLE.
Consuming & finishing ALL 5 LESSONS is your goal that we WILL celebrate together at the end of this challenge.
Would you agree that when your child pushes back, you often think “Oh no … I better lay the smack down on this pushback FAST or my kiddo will think he can rule the world with no respect?“
If you answered YES, thanks for being honest.
I think it’s something many of us struggle with when we have kids who push back. Cultural messaging from the past tells us that:
..kids who seek to feel powerful are dangerous & will grow up to be entitled brats & raging maniacs if we’re not careful … so squash that desire quickly letting them know that WE RULE THE ROOST!
Ha, I must admit, this was my mentality the first few years with my incredibly strong willed daughter and it JUST. DIDN’T. WORK. OUT.
It’s simply not factual.
Thank God I found the work of positive parenting & slowly but surely started to understand how empowering our kids when they seek to feel powerful is not only wise, but incredibly important as we raise the next generation of leaders & human souls.
Dr. Rudolph Dreikurs teaches us that seeking to feel powerful is a healthy, human need, one that ALL human beings have.
Kids who express their need to feel powerful aren’t pushing back to be naughty, disobedient, or disrespectful, they’re just trying to communicate their healthy desire to also feel powerful.
So today’s task is all about starting the process of unclenching our fists … to start letting our kids have some more power here and there …. especially when you feel them pushing back.
And by pushback, I mean anytime you say “Do this” and they say “No & I won’t & you can’t make me!” …. ha, you love those moments right?
- Giving kids choices
- Putting kids in charge
Giving Kids Choices:
When we start discussing choices as a way to empower, I hear a lot of families say “I already do that“, but hang in there for a minute, because choices with an intention to empower will come across to your kids differently.
Choices with an intention to empower aims to fill up their “needs bucket”, not trick them into complying.
Take a break from compliance statements & instead ask questions with choices.
Choices, choices, choices, ALL DAY LONG.
Don’t worry, you are NOT creating entitled kids. You ARE creating kids that can think for themselves & make respectful decisions within the rules & parameters set before them.
My daughter, Stella at age 4 when our WHOLE life shifted by embracing the concept of empowering her as much as possible. Her soul shined when she was given opportunities to lead & make decisions by herself (within parameters of course!)
- Do you want to take a shower quick like a cheetah or a relaxing bath slow like a turtle? (instead of “I don’t care that you don’t want to take a bath, you’re filthy & like it or not, you’re going to get clean.”
- Do you want to be part of the team by setting the table before dinner or wiping it clean afterwards? (instead of “Everyone has to do their part, set the table or you won’t have ice cream after dinner.”
- Would you like your red coat or blue coat?
- Would you like to do it on your own or have me help you?
- Would you like to walk on your own or have me carry you?
Putting Kids in Charge:
Have fun with this one families!
Make your kids:
- President of the Car Seat Buckles
- VP of the Dinner Music
- Mayor of the Dishes
- In Charge of Walking the Dog
Kids LOVE to feel powerful & as Dr. Dreikurs teaches us, will misbehave less, when we give them opportunities to feel & be powerful throughout their days.
The moment you start to feel pushback (you’ll feel provoked & challenged), think “How could I give my kiddo more power here so his soul settles a bit“?
Now don’t worry, you’re STILL going to maintain your role as a strong, firm leader of your family, you’re just now working hard to be a KIND & RESPECTFUL strong, firm leader.
Other verbiage you can use include:
- “I need your help, can you teach me how you YOU think we should put the dishes in the dishwasher? Sometimes I think they don’t get all the way clean.”
- “If you’d rather be President of folding laundry, I can come be in charge of the dishes?”
- “Would you like to be the boss of the car ride to school & pick out music or would you like me to be in charge of choosing the soundtrack?”
Where you might get stuck:
Yes, your truest of power kids will sometimes say “neither” when you give them a choice. Don’t panic, this just means you have a TRUE power kiddo on your hands who has a strong desire to lead. Remember this is a GOOD, healthy need.
The world NEEDS strong, passionate leaders who enjoy being center stage & aren’t afraid to stand tall for their visions & beliefs.
Some ideas for your verbiage for when they say “neither”:
- “Ok, do you have another idea that would work for both of us? I’d love to hear!”
- “I can see you don’t like either choice because you really just want to keep playing AND we need to get clean, so would you like to choose A or B. I can choose for you if you need help.”
- “Looks like you don’t want to do either & we still need to get to school, so you can choose A or B. Either you can choose or I will choose for you.”
Take a break from compliance statements & instead empower kids with choices & big jobs.
- Journal Prompt
- What is one time when you were tempted to just give a compliance statement but instead remembered to empower by giving two choices?
- What is one area that you successfully tapped into your creativity and came up with two choices when you were fearful you couldn’t think of any?
- What is one time you had fun with giving your kiddo more power, what did you offer to make him be the boss of?