CSP Spotlight: Power Struggles are a No-win Situation

01 Jan 2018

Are you exhausted and drained from hassling with your children? It can be maddening to spend our energy and patience in a never-ending cycle of defending, arguing and explaining. When your children talk back to you, test you by throwing a temper tantrum or defy your authority, it may be an attempt to show their personal power. Don’t argue with kids. When you argue with your child, you give them power. Instead focus on making the behavior powerless and then give them consequences to hold him accountable. Avoid power struggles, arguing with kids will get you trapped in a no-win situation! 

Remember the 3 C’s:  Be clear, consistent and have consequences.  

Here are some tips to defuse arguments and restore harmony in your family.

  • You are the parent. It is your responsibility to set appropriate rules and expectations.


  • Remember that it is a child’s role to challenge and test rules and guidelines as they learn about life.


  • Unreasonable rigid standards are counter-productive to a child’s self-esteem and family harmony.


  • Involve your children in establishing family rules and consequences.


  • Give children a voice in simple age-appropriate decisions.


  • Offer choices and options by negotiating whenever possible.


  • Be clear on areas that are non-negotiable such as personal hygiene, manners, homework, etc.


  • Respond in a matter of fact way, don’t let emotions get triggered.


  • Watch your personal tone of voice and body language.


  • Stay calm and in control of the situation.


 Community Service Programs of West Alabama (CSP), Inc.’s Head Start/Early Head Start, Child Care Partnership, and Early Intervention programs engage families and encourage healthy lifestyle choices.  Safe and healthy children are ready to learn and explore their world. 

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