Toddler terrorism is a serious issue, and if you understand what I mean by that, chances are that you have already found yourself negotiating with a tiny version of yourself.
Welcome to the club!
And I am sorry to say it does not stop after the toddler phase.
Bargaining over EVERY teeny tiny detail all day long can be so exhausting, and I was constantly finding myself battling all day over the dumbest things.
I was SO over it. The constant power struggle was really starting to wear me down, so I began to ask other parents how they handled the constant battles.
Then a mom at the park asked me, ‘Do you know your child’s currency?’
She obviously could tell from my expression that I had absolutely NO CLUE what she was talking about.
She then explained to me that everyone has a currency, especially children. A bargaining chip that you can utilize to regain power in the situation.
Mind = blown.
She went on to describe how she had successfully used this parenting tactic, and how it had completely changed her world.
I was ALL IN.
TEACH ME ALL THE THINGS.
So the first order of business is to understand what your child’s currency is, and know that like everything else, their currency will evolve and change through the different stages of parenting.
You have to find that one thing in each day that your child holds as the top priority… it can be a pacifier, a blanket, a special teddy bear, a certain cartoon, play-doh, coloring, or if you’re in my current stage: video games.
Once you recognize what each child’s currency is, you can then use that ONE thing to negotiate on ALL the things that day.
My favorite aspect of this tactic is the fact that it is DIFFERENT for each child, and changes and evolves with each individual child. Because no two children are the same, they don’t respond to things the same.
You find that one thing, for that one child.
Both of my girls are obsessed with video games right now, so I have a list of chores that have to be completed, on top of their everyday chores, before I will even discuss them being able to play.
It has been amazing.
I have never seen my children clean so fast.
Also, if they begin to get sassy or testy with me at all throughout the day, in whatever we are doing, I utilize their currency by threatening to take it away for the day.
AND IT WORKS!
They immediately become the sweet, precious, little angel babies I know they can be.
The power is all mine again and it is just the best!
My son, on the other hand, has been a little more tricky because his currency changes on the daily.
Right now he is obsessed with his Lego dinosaur set, so at any sign of trouble, I quickly inform him of the consequences if he does not bend to my will.
I will take that dinosaur set straight back to Target.
He immediately shapes up, makes smarter choices, and realizes that his actions can and do have consequences.
It is crazy how effective this tactic truly is.
Nobody ever told me how complicated and frustrating the power struggle can be in parenting, so I offer you this to hopefully help some parents out there that are exhausted with the everyday struggle.
What parenting tactics have you utilized?