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?