you ever noticed that everything is a battle with your child? If it is,
then one of three things is happening. Your child, you or both are in a
competitive need cycle. What is a competitive need cycle?
As humans, we are all born with five basic needs that we are
genetically programmed to attempt to meet. They are survival, love
& belonging, power, freedom and fun. Without getting into the
detail of the developmental model described in Nancy Buck’s book, Peaceful Parenting, power and freedom combine to make the competitive need cycle.
When people are in a competitive, need cycle they are most strongly
driven by the needs to gain more power and freedom in their lives. With
a parent and child, this is typically represented by the parent
refusing to consider to allow their child to do something. The parent
is attempting to meet the power need by keeping his or her child safe
and the freedom need by extricating him or herself from the worry of
wondering about his or her child while the child would be engaged in
the forbidden activity.
The child, on the other hand, is attempting to meet the power need by
having new experiences and exploring the world and to meet the freedom
need by gaining time away from restrictive parental supervision. When a
parent and child are both in their competitive need cycle, naturally a
power struggle ensues.
I have four examples of situations and possible solutions if you, the
parent, are willing to consider focusing on your cooperative needs of
love & belonging and fun instead. Why do you, the parent, have to
be the one to it differently? Because it is you who are dissatisfied
with the situation. Whose behavior can you control? Hopefully, you
understand that you cannot control your child’s behavior as much as I
know you’d like to at times. The only person’s behavior you can control
is your own.
Since it is you and not your child who is reading this post, I’m
talking to you about what you can do to improve the situation.
Staying focused on changing your child will only lead to your
frustration and a break down of your relationship. You won’t be
successful at long-term change in your child. He or she may acquiesce
while in your presence but there won’t be the required internal
motivation to change required for any long-term transformation. So,
let’s look at what you do have control of—the way you respond to your
child’s push to meet his or her power and freedom needs.
In subsequent posts, I'll be providing you with real life examples.
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