From the time that I became a pediatrician, thirty some odd years ago, I have been counseling parents to stay a way from three battles. We all know we “have to pick our battles”. Early on in my career I saw an article that explained the three areas that I am talking about as “no-no’s” to battle with your kids.
As we engage with kids we often try to take control in areas where we do not have control. The result is a battle we cannot win. I intend on doing a podcast on this issue too. Perhaps I can elaborate more there. So what are the three areas to NOT battle with your kids over?
- How much they eat! They have ultimate control of how much they put in their mouth and how much they swallow. You cannot make a child eat. REPEAT…you cannot make a child eat. Nor should you worry about how much they eat. You can control what choices they have for food. And you should take control of that!
- You should not battle over sleep. You cannot make your child sleep. But you do have control of bedtime, where they are to go to sleep, and the total hours of bedtime.
- You cannot make a child poop in the potty. They have control over where they put their poop. You have control of incentives and discouragements. In other words you have control over your responses after they go to the bathroom. You can act disappointed and cold if they are not pleasing you about their choice of going in their pants. And you can be pleased about when they succeed in the potty. So there are the three no battle areas. Good luck! Actually this takes a lot of stress away when you realize what you have control over and what you do not. More details of approaches are in other articles on this website and in podcasts to come. Check them out….thanks