Book Study: Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles

We are kicking off our new book study on Mary Sheedy Kurcinka’s “Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles:  Winning for a Lifetime.”  Some of you may be familiar with Mary Sheedy Kurcinka’s book, “Raising Your Spirited Child,” but this book is just as wonderful and I think applicable across a wide range of ages and stages. So grab a copy of the book and follow along!  Also, check out IG and FB @theparentingpassageway for tips/reminders each week based off some of the ideas in each chapter so we can all have winning families and be the parents we want to be!

I love how Mary Kurcinka writes, ” On the surface power struggles look like a tug of war.  Parents and kids pitted against one another.  Opposing forces pulling in different directions.  Two individuals at odds with each other, both determined to win!  The trouble is that if you win by simply outmuscling your child, you still feel lousy.  There’s little pleasure in victory when your child is left distressed and angry.  If you lose, it’s even worse.  When kind of a parent can’t even get a child to brush her teeth or finish her homework? Power struggles are frustrating.”

What a great summary of how things really go!  Who hasn’t feel angry or frustrated as a parent?

The reality is that a power struggle is like the tip of an iceburg.  Below the surface, every power struggle is about feelings and needs.  And feelings and needs encompass both parties involved.  Recognizing emotions and building relationships by responding to emotion is a way to deal with power struggles, because power struggles aren’t really about winning or losing.  

“Every power struggle offers you the opportunity to connect with your child or to disconnect.” (page 4)  If we can connect with our children, we can help our children and ourselves  cooperate, get along with each other – and play for the same team.  If we can become more emotionally intelligent, then our ability to manage our own intensity and our own triggers increases.

You can have a more harmonious home; emotional coaching is the key.  Seek first to understand and then be understood.

More to come on this wonderful book!


4 thoughts on “Book Study: Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles

  1. I have been following your blog for almost 18 months and I just wanted to say your book recommendations and loving discussion is hugely valued – by me and I’m sure others. Thank you for sharing your inspirational thoughts!!

  2. Definitely looking forward to learning strategies for handling big emotions. We’re a family of intense, emotional people!

  3. I actually cried tonight, asking my husband why aren’t the kids listening to anything I say? Why are they ignoring me? Needless to say my kids listen and are better behaved than most kids I know (I’m a I know haha)…But the constant battle of taking a bath/shower, going to bed, eating your dinner etc…it’s come to kick me in the face and make me now want more kids as sad as that is. I just don’t like what I’ve become – my nagging mother!!😢🤔

    • So glad you wrote in! Parenting is hard work, and I think we have so much more empathy for our mothers when we are in the thick of mothering ourselves. Give yourself a big hug – just because it is hard doesn’t mean you are doing it wrong! I think one thing to consider if your children are under 7 or 9 is the use of rhythm, singing and verses for those transitions, and yes, taking children by the hand and leading them while you are singing or putting something more into a fantasy life – let’s hop over here like a bunny and look and see if there are any carrots behind your teeth! It takes a lot of work in the beginning to parent like this, it isn’t natural to most of us, but it can really help. This back post has been really popular over the years, maybe it will set your mind at ease: Many blessings! Carrie

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