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Are you caught in a power struggle with your young child or adolescent, a loved one, or business associate?

Resistance—especially from a child—can pack a powerful punch that triggers all sorts of negative emotions. Power struggles can wear adults down long before a child backs down or acquiesces to do whatever it is that is being asked of them—cleaning a room, eating healthy food, doing homework, helping with just about any chore, or just listening in general.

Power struggle. Power. Struggle. We all want control—at every age. Without the tools to cope with the management of strong emotions, we can lose our balance quickly and resort to acting out in ways that prove counterproductive. Yelling, threatening, begging, whining or worse.

Is there a quick fix to avoid a power struggle?

There is a quick way out of any power struggle: Back off.

Though this may seem counterintuitive, it is actually the best way to evaluate and access how to handle any situation.

Back off. Get present. Breathe. Take Inventory. Identify. What’s Going On?

Whatever we’re doing mindfully becomes a be here now present moment. Walking, eating, talking, reading. You name it.

When you find yourself heating up, cool down. Take a moment. Listen. What’s going on? Physcially? Emotionally?

Get in touch with your 5 senses and teach your child or coworkers to do the same. This is a great way to connect to your self and the world around you. It also provides great practice for learning how to pay attention—at any age.

  • Hear what you hear.
  • Taste what you taste.
  • Smell what you smell.
  • Touch what you touch.
  • Feel what you feel.
  • Then with clarity and calm, engage your brain before opening your mouth.
  • Express how you feel and what is you want. Simply and clearly. Firmly.

Be sure that you recharge your battery at least as often as you recharge your cell phone. Tune in to your true self. The one hiding behind all the pressures, stress, expectations, and labels. Beyond what you think a perfect parent or a perfect child ought to do, be or look like.

Teach yourself and then help others to:

  • Listen. It’s hard to listen when you’re disconnected or distracted. Do you give others your full attention or do you just expect them to give you theirs?
  • Learn how to listen. Especially to your own body. Hungry? Eat. Tired? Rest. Restless? Get the energy moving.
  • Break big tasks down into smaller tasks.
  • When feeling overwhelmed or stuck, ask for help.

Contact Karin for a complimentary initial consultation.

Karin Yapalater MFA, CHHC, AADP
Board Certified Individual & Family Health & Nutrition Counselor
Park Avenue Family Wellness • Hamptons Family Wellness
715 Park Avenue • New York, NY 10021
Phone: 212-737-1818
Email Karin

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