Aesop’s Fable The North Wind and the Sun illustrates the different results when adults act like the wind versus the sun during a power struggle. Read my other post, Aesop’s Fable The North Wind and the Sun to get the complete story.
Here are common power-struggle triggering thoughts along with replacement thoughts that will avoid power struggles.
|Power-Struggle Triggering Thoughts – The Wind||Cooperation Building Thoughts- The Sun|
|You are so inconsiderate.||This is a developmental stage and will change. Be patient and don’t label.|
|You’re defying me.||My child has needs and is trying to cope. I need to try a more effective approach.|
|You’re trying to test me.||Perhaps I need to set clearer boundaries and limits.|
|I can’t stand it.||I need to get control of myself.|
|You never listen to me.||I need to be more effective in my communication.|
When you choose cooperation building thoughts, you shift the power from controlling your middler to changing yourself. Therefore, the power struggle loses its wind.
The event-think-feel-do cycle theory suggests that we respond to a power struggle conflict often quickly with strong feelings and actions. These are triggered by our thinking about the event and the people involved. We can try to change our actions first; for example not yelling at our kids. This is a fantastic start. Yet for more permanent change, I believe we need to analyze the thinking behind our feelings and actions. If we continue to think in a power-struggle producing way while trying to act in a cooperation-building manner; our think-feel-do cycle will be in-congruent and we will not be very effective.
Cynthia Klein has been a Certified Parent Educator since 1994. She works with dads, moms and organizations who want more cooperation, mutual respect and understanding between parents and children of all ages. Cynthia presents her expertise through speaking, webinars, and private parent coaching sessions. She is a member of the National Speakers Association. Contact Cynthia at bridges 2 understanding, bridges2understa.wpstagecoach.com or call 650. 341.0779.