The 10 Minute Fix For Power Struggles


This morning we were due to leave the house for a picnic. My daughter had got herself dressed and now she needed to go to the toilet, and have her teeth cleaned. She came to me with a grumpy look on her face, and said, ”I don’t want to do the things you say.”

Okay I thought, and I wondered how I was going to get her out of this mood. I decided to change track completely. ”Do you want to do special time? And then we get ready afterwards?”

”Yeah!” she said. I set the timer for ten minutes. We played Duplo and her train set. We chased a runaway horse which kept leaving the farm, and driving away in car. After 10 minutes of laughter and connection, she happily went to the toilet and cleaned her teeth.

If you want to get out of a power struggle with your child one of the quickest ways is to completely forget about it for a while, do some special time and then go back to it. So factor in an extra 10 minutes, and have special time as your secret weapon, ready for whenever you need it.

In Patty Wipfler’s book Listen: Five Simple Tools To Meet Your Everyday Parenting Challenges she explains how when children get used to having regular special time, they sometimes even ask for it when they sense they need extra connection. So you can proactively prevent behavioural struggles by making special time a regular part of your family life.

For more getting ready solutions try 15 Tips For Getting Out Of The House With Kids 

And for more ways to rescue challenging situations with special time  try 10 Ways To Use Special Time To Transform Your Day

2 thoughts on “The 10 Minute Fix For Power Struggles

  1. This is such a simple way to ease the tension. I find a lot of this comes back to letting go of that sense of expecting obedience, do what I say when I say it. They need to learn to follow instructions, too, but sometimes have a simple way to diffuse that frustration is a perfect way to show they still have to do their “work” but we care about their concerns, too.

  2. yes, exactly. It’s just a totally different mindset. And the brain science is behind this connection style parenting, rather than the obedience kind. If we give a little, even just 10 minutes, then our children will get the connection they need to think clearly and co-operate. And we are also deepening our relationship with our children, while getting what we to happen done! It is a win-win, 🙂

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