Getting out of parent-child power struggles

Watch Video: Getting out of parent-child power struggles by Tina Payne Bryson, PhD, ...
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Getting out of parent-child power struggles

Everybody says, don't get into a power struggle with your child. But what happens when we inevitably do? Here's some things you can do to get out of that moment. One, give them an out. Just like everyone else, a child wants to safe face when they feel like they're backed into a corner. They want to feel like they have some bit of control. So you can still enforce a boundary lovingly but give them an out. Like say, would you like to get a drink first before we pick up your toys, or something like that. Would you like to play a little bit longer and then we can read only two bedtime stories tonight. Give them kind of a way to get out of the situation. The second thing is to negotiate. Of course, there are some non negotiables. But negotiating is a skill that requires them to think about what might appeal to someone else. They have to think about someone elses mind and they can come up with some really good problem solving and that's great practice for them as well. The third suggestion is to ask for their advice or their help. When you find yourself struggling with a child and it's not getting anywhere, you're getting more upset, they're getting more upset and it's looking like a lose/lose situation, what you can say is, we're not getting anywhere; are we? This isn't really working. Do you have any ideas that will help us both get what we need here? And allow them to brainstorm some ideas and if it doesn't work you might say, this isn't going anywhere. I think we need to talk about it later, and then move on to something else.

Watch Video: Getting out of parent-child power struggles by Tina Payne Bryson, PhD, ...


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Tina Payne Bryson, PhD

Psychotherapist & Author

Tina Payne Bryson, PhD, is a psychotherapist at Pediatric and Adolescent Psychology Associates in Arcadia, California, where she sees children and adolescents, as well as provides parenting consultations. She is the school counselor at St. Marks Episcopal School in Altadena, CA, and a Developmental Consultant to Camp Chippewa for Boys. She speaks to parents, educators, and clinicians all across the country. Dr. Bryson earned her PhD from the University of Southern California, where her research explored attachment science, childrearing theory, and the emerging field of interpersonal neurobiology. Her best-selling book The Whole-Brain Child (co-authored with Dr. Dan Siegel) gives parents practical ways to transform difficult moments into opportunities for children to thrive.  Dr. Bryson has written for a large number of publications, most recently the PBS series “This Emotional Life.”  She lives near Los Angeles with her husband and three children.  

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