Sunday, February 7, 2010

Parenting Tip #25 Pick Your Fights

My kids were driving me crazy and I needed some advice—especially about my 3 older sons who were getting into their teen years. I knew a mother who had 7 boys and one girl and I thought if anyone had advice to give me, I bet she would. So I called her on the phone and talked to her. She gave me some good ideas and the one that I remember and have used often is: “pick your fights”.

She counseled me that there will be lots of issues and conflicts that are going to arise in a family between the parents and the children. She said you can either be constantly battling with each other, or not. So pick your fights. If the conflict is minor, and one that you don’t feel really strong about, let the child choose what he would rather do. But if the issue is one you feel very strongly about, you make the decision and fight for it.

Look at what is going on in your family. Are you fighting about the clothes your children choose to wear? Does it really matter that your preschooler wears an orange shirt with her red plaid shorts. But what about a teenager who wants to dress immodestly? Does it really matter that your child wants to quit dance or gymnastics? But what about a child who doesn’t want to go to Church?

Notice all the little conflicts going on in your family today. Are they power struggles so that YOU can stay in control or are they nonsense things that can be ignored? Learn to evaluate the conflict, what the outcome will be and either let it go or stick to your guns.

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