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Stop Fighting With Your Children Once And For All

By Cynthia Hanson for Life & Beauty Weekly

Are you tired of constantly reminding your children to pick up their dirty clothes, without success? Do you sound like a broken record repeating the words, “Eat your vegetable?” We have good news for you. You can put an end to these everyday battles!

“Most fights arise because parents try to set limits, correct, or stop their child’s behavior,” says Dr. Fred Zelinger, a psychologist specializing in children and families in Cedarhurst, NY. “But it is easier to give a choice than to simply give an order.” “And it is more effective to plan in advance how to solve certain situations, rather than to react to the moment.” So let’s stop fighting! Try these strategies recommended by the experts and put an end once and for to all the most common conflicts between parents and children (without having to be annoying!)

Conflict: Your 9 year old daughter does not want to do her household chores.

Solution: Household chores are not something negotiable. They are a necessary part of family life. Choose some simple tasks for your child to do every day (for example, make their bed or set the table) or a more important task to do once a week (for example, take out the garbage). Set a specific time for each task and explain that they must do their job before watching TV or going out to play with their friends. This will help to ensure respect for the rules.

“When your child finishes a task that he or she did not want to do, the child is learning about delayed gratification”, says Dr. Fran Walfish, specialist in child and family therapy and the author of the Self-aware Parent. Besides doing these tasks helps reinforce self-esteem. Something that is also very important is to keep your children motivated. Instead of criticizing them by saying “You didn’t get the sheets straight when you made the bed”, tell them “Good job!” “I love it when you help me”.

Conflict: Your 7-year-old son waste time in the morning and always gets to school late.

Solution: The morning is a really stressful time. We have to do so much in so little time! It is not surprising that problems arise. First, make sure you are ready before your child so you can be calm and handle the situation. Save time by making lunch the night before, put out your children’s clothes in the evening and have school bags ready by the front door. Then set up a morning routine and insist that your child sticks to it.

But don’t forget to be flexible. Rather than stand in the middle of your room and yell, “get dressed or you will be late!”, let him put his shirt on while he goes down the stairs to breakfast. “If you scold too much, your son will you out”, said Dr. Laurie Zelinger, child psychologist and author of Please Explain “Anxiety” to Me! Simple Biology and Solutions for Children and Parents. If your child moves at a snail’s pace and doesn’t have time to get his socks and shoes before you go, let him walk barefoot bus stop. “Let him finish dressing in front of his friends,” says Zelinger. “Then he will have to face the consequences of his actions and you will notice that it does not happen again.”

Conflict: Your children from 6 to 8 years are fighting for a toy, say “I hate you” and insult each other.

Solution: Families need a policy of zero tolerance for insults and verbal abuse. Keep in mind that children say phrases like “I hate you” because they are trying to express a strong emotion and do not know how to do it correctly.

The next time one of your children say something hurtful, remind them that in your home you won’t tolerate that kind of language and then help him express his feelings in a more appropriate way. “Sit with your two children and tell them, it seems that you want to say that you’re Super mad at your brother. Tell me why you are so angry. I promise that I will sit here and listen to what you have to say,” explains Walfish. “This way they will learn that it is normal to experience strong feelings, but they must learn to express them correctly and without hurting others.”

Conflict: Your 10-year-old son does not want to eat his fruits or vegetables.

Solution: Food likes and dislikes are truly personal. This is an area in which parents should avoid setting rules and limits in an attempt to control. “As long as your child is healthy, why bother to fight about food”? says Fred Zelinger.




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