As children grow older, navigating the dynamic between parent and child can become more complex. Power struggles may arise as they assert their independence and test boundaries. However, as parents, it’s essential to foster a supportive and respectful environment that minimizes conflicts. Here are practical strategies to help you eliminate power struggles with your older children.

1. Establish Clear Expectations:

  • Communicate openly: Have honest conversations with your child about expectations, rules, and consequences, ensuring they understand the reasoning behind them.
  • Collaborate on rules: Involve your child in setting household rules and boundaries, allowing them to have a sense of ownership and accountability.
  • Create structure, routines, and consistency in the household. Perhaps collaborate and develop monthly calendars that include events, Dr. visits, and activities to help your child be aware of upcoming responsibilities. Preparation is key!

2. Foster Mutual Respect:

  • Lead by example: Model respectful behavior and communication in your interactions with your child, and all family members demonstrating empathy and understanding.
  • Validate their feelings: Acknowledge your child’s emotions and perspectives, even if you disagree, to show that their feelings are valued.

3. Encourage Independence:

  • Delegate responsibilities: Assign age-appropriate tasks and chores to your child, giving them a sense of autonomy and contribution to the family. Perhaps collaborate on setting up daily/weekly job/chore charts that allows for visual accountability.
  • Provide guidance, not control: Offer support and guidance when needed, but allow your child to make decisions and learn from their experiences.


4. Practice Active Listening:

  • Listen without judgment: Create a safe space for your child to express themselves openly without fear of criticism or punishment.
  • Validate their concerns: Show empathy and understanding by acknowledging your child’s feelings and perspectives, even if you don’t agree with them.

5. Collaborate on Solutions:

  • Problem-solve together: When conflicts arise, involve your child in finding solutions that are mutually acceptable, encouraging compromise and cooperation.
  • Focus on win-win outcomes: Encourage brainstorming and negotiation to find solutions that address both your needs and your child’s, fostering a sense of teamwork.

6. Foster Connection:

  • Spend quality time together: Dedicate time each day to engage in activities that strengthen your bond and promote positive communication.
  • Show appreciation: Express gratitude for your child’s efforts and accomplishments, building their self-esteem and reinforcing positive behavior.