Raising autism is difficult, what the heck am I saying, raising children is difficult. It doesn’t matter what special needs they have. Parenthood is tough stuff y’all. Today I wanted to chat a bit about how I go about picking what battles to fight and which ones to leave alone for a life lesson to be taught.
How I Learn to Pick Parental Battles
- Is it Life Threatening – when a child isn’t listening, my first thought is whether or not obeying will cause any life threatening issues? As a parent your main job is to keep your children safe.
- Is a Consequence Necessary – my second thought is always whether or not a consequence should be given and what consequence suits the crime.
- Will This Teach a Lesson – third in life I ask if letting go of the battle means the child will learn anything from this scenario, such as a life lesson?
- Calmly Respond – there’s nothing scarier to a child than a calm parental response, trust me. This gets my daughter every time, when Mama is calm she knows it’s not safe. Haha.
- Discuss the Lesson – after all is said and done, choosing to not fight the current battle doesn’t alleviate the parental need to discuss what life lesson was learned here.
The Difference in Parents
While many parents will say it’s never, ever okay to not listen to what has been requested from an elder or your parent, I take a different route. My ways of parenting children tend to lean more towards a calm, matter of fact approach that leaves open space for the kids to mature and learn through experiences.
Humans Learn Through Experience, That Includes Children
As a firm believer that human beings learn quicker through experience than lectures, my parental ways when it comes to knowing what battles to pick answer the questions I listed above and move on to the next mission. If a child doesn’t desire to listen to me I will take away any extra privileges, depending upon what the scenario is they may be forced to listen until life moves on or simply suffer long term consequences for not listening to me. Every scenario is handled differently; I am a firm believer in a consequence fitting the crime and a discussion ultimately to learn what the child is thinking and feeling during this moment.
Do What Works for Your Children
Whatever works for your family, works. This is what works for mine and it has worked to make three little children who excel in school, think creatively and have learned to be individual thinkers. Each child has learned consequences happen, whether it’s from the parent or a life lesson that occurs from a decision they made; they are learning and growing each time I pick to fight a battle or not fight a battle. Most of my parental ways were taught to me be a family counselor I saw for years when my middle child was younger and I say if the professional advised things this way, then they knew what they were doing. It just so happens that the counselors advice actually worked for my kiddos and for that I am forever thankful for.
What do you do when your child is being absolutely stubborn? What are some techniques that work in your household?
22 thoughts on “Some Battles are Not Worth the Fight”
These are great tips. When it comes to kids, sometimes you just have to let them fall down. That’s the only way they learn.
I love it! Raising the kids is the very definition of pick your battles. Of course, you have to keep them from killing themselves, but some scrapes and bumps, physical and emotional, as they age are how they learn.
It is so important not to let everything turn into a battle. There are some things you should just let go.
Fantastic tips! Not everything needs to be a fight and sometimes its easier to just pick your battles.
I think learning to pick your battles takes time but it’s important. I like your strategies for when you run into problems.
Things are so much easier when we accept each child as an individual because not everything is one size fits all. I’ve been trying to not sweat the small stuff in all areas of my life.
Love this post! I guess after parenting for fifteen years my biggest piece of advice would be when my child is being stubborn I sit down with him or her and I tell each of them to take a long breath and then I try and get them to just open up and talk to me about what is going on and what is behind their behavior. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t!
It can be so hard to decide which battles to fight when you are a parent. Thanks for the tips.
So funny because I always thought like that then I became a grandmother and realized even the battles I picked weren’t worth it. Save it for the big ones!
I’m not a parent (and not planning to be either) but I was a Special Ed Teacher and this list certainly resonates, while moms deal with anywhere from 1-3, I had 30 kids with Special Needs for the bulk of the day and you learn quickly to pick your battles in keeping kids in line! 🙂
We definitely do our best to pick our battles. Our children know we will never tolerate certain things and understand there will always be consequences for their actions.
Kids will always be kids but it’s our responsibility to teach them what’s right and that doesn’t always come in a sermon about how things should be done. Most of the time, talking to them and explaining why a certain action is not expected is the way to go. I think these are really good suggestions!
Yeah! Battles are our choice, we either win or lose but what’s important is to fight the best battles of our lives.
I think responding calmly is an important one. That only teaches them to respond in the same way.
Sometimes I’m overly firm with my kids on big subjects because they need to know the importance of the matter. If it’s not huge and important, the reaction is minimal.
This is very true with kids you ahem to pick your battles. Some are totally worth the fight!
Offering choices has been the best thing for us, and making sure the choices are things we can handle either answer, but letting the kids be involved with decisions more.
Oh, yeah I have my everyday battles! It is really important that our spirit is calm or else sharp words will be our shield for the battle.
I have been saying this for years. As a parent, one of the first steps in negotiating is to make the crucial decision of which battles are actually worth fighting for. Not everything is!
This is some good stuff that can also be applied when communicating with adults, seriously. You can talk to them out of something, it’s just that the punishment’s not going to come from you if they still do otherwise.
These are great tips, I think responding calmly is an important one. That only teaches them to respond in the same way.
Great advice. I bet every parents need this. I have battles every day and keeping calm is always the key. Thanks for sharing!