Top 10 Ways to Avoid Battles with your Kids

Happy Parenting doesn’t happen by magic. And it doesn’t happen by saying, “Next time, I won’t lose my temper.” It takes observation, practice and consistency. I know it’s easy to second guess your decisions in the heat of the moment when you’re about to blow your top, so here are my favorite tips for a positive default parenting strategy. We all need a helpful cheat sheet from time to time! When in doubt, lean on these tips to check your thinking. (Or just do nothing and breathe – that works in the heat of the moment when you can’t remember this list!)

Top Ten Strategies to Avoid Battles, Fights and Rabbit Holes in Your Parenting

      1. 1.

Stop worrying about how your children express themselves

      1. in terms of their personal style (this includes their wardrobe, accessories, hair and makeup). Learn to notice character traits that define your child as a unique human being.

Ignore strangers

      1. in the grocery store who give you the hairy eyeball when your child throws a temper tantrum. Learn to wait quietly as your child finds his/her own solution for dealing with disappointment or frustration (or just being too tired to shop).

Don’t interfere

      1. if your child decides to go to school in jammies, wear sandals in the snow, or watch television instead of doing homework. Nature is the best teacher. Celebrate your child’s courage to make a choice and listen as he/she shares the experience without judgment or criticism.


      1. mistakes, big and small, yours and theirs, and remember that mistakes are opportunities to learn.

Resist the urge to say “I told you so”,

      1. “What were you thinking?”, and “If you had listened to me in the first place, you could have avoided the whole mess.” Imagine yourself in your child’s shoes and then respond accordingly.

Leave the mess.

      1. When your child is 35 how do you want her to remember you? As the best damn, nagging housekeeper in the neighborhood or as her ally, champion and teacher?

Never ever, ever, ever, ask your neighbor how she parents.

      1. You wouldn’t take your car to an accountant for an oil change would you? Consider yourself the expert in your child’s life.
        8. When you don’t know what to do –

do nothing.

      1. Most situations take care of themselves when left to natural consequences.

Challenge every belief you have about what “good” parents do

      1. (and don’t do) and replace it with accurate, factual information that will help you parent from your best. (Tip – you’ll know when a belief is tripping you up when you say the belief out loud and it makes you squirm a bit. For example, ‘a good parent has kids who always look their best’. Um, really??)

Don’t make the mistake of believing that your children ARE their mischief making.

    1. Mischief making is your clue that you are living with a discouraged child. The only solution is to encourage and encourage again.

I’m hoping you can find a few things from this list that are absolutely doable for you. Go ahead and read them a few times. Memorize them. Lean on them when you’re ready to ship the kid to an island far far away.

You’ve got this!