Don’t Make a BIG Deal Over small Things!

Picking the correct battles may be one of the most strategic skills in parenting. Over-reactng can make you appear to be irrational, and under-reacting can make you appear to be too passive. While there is no science to this, I have discovered that most things our children do, don’t require our immediate response. Waiting, even if for only minutes, allows us to actually think through our responses and assess the situation. And if we are willing to wait long enough, natural consequences sometimes can speak louder than our own voice.

Here’s a few things to consider, the next time you’re trying to decide if a battle is worth fighting:

1. Does the behavior simply get on your nerves? If your answer is yes, addressing it will only make it worse. Kids have a way of finding our last nerve and twisting it.

2. Is the behavior “generational”? Our parents didn’t like our music or the way we dressed. Hair will grow back and clothing fads will fade. Often, we just need to learn to let certain things go.

3. Is the battle “winnable” ? When I first became a foster-parent, I “forbade” my sons from listening to explicit music. Of course, I wasn’t on their school bus, over their friend’s house or even in the house with them when they were alone. I learned that this battle couldn’t be won. But there was a greater value to having an open dialogue about music, lyrics and subjects brought up, from their music.

Charles BrownComment