How to Peacefully Work Through Disagreements with Your Child

Children go through phases of parental opposition. Toddlers learn the word no, which quickly becomes the go-to response for even the simplest of requests. At kindergarten age, kids learn to voice their opinions. “I don’t want to eat vegetables mom!” Maybe even, “Dad, that’s not how my teacher said to do my math.” As preteens they question how in touch you are with today’s world, and as teenagers, they blatantly disregard your guidance. Every parent has endured these stages and every child has participated in at least a few of the scenarios above. All of them are developmentally normal. But normal doesn’t equal easy. Disagreements get more difficult to handle the older your child gets, but there are helpful approaches to diffusing, instead of escalating, arguments.

Listen and Validate

The first step is simply to listen. No matter how you personally feel about what your children or teens have to say, the least you can do is listen. Listening requires an open mind, positive body language and responses of acknowledgement. We give our spouses, colleagues and friends the respect of feeling heard, even in moments of discord, so we owe our children nothing less. After allowing them to voice their thoughts it’s important to validate their feelings. Remember that validation isn’t synonymous with agreement. It’s possible to let your children know that their feelings are valid without agreeing with their method of expression or the thought process that led them to their conclusion.

Explain Your Perspective

Now that you’ve taken the time to listen, the next step is to explain your perspective. You may have very strong opinions about how your children are acting or the things they’ve said, but try your best to take a deep breath before sharing your opposition. Explosive anger will only breed an equally volatile response. The goal is to bring peace and offer the most reasonable solution. Be concise. No one enjoys hearing a long drawn out explanation of why they are wrong. Instead of belaboring the point, try using phrases that provide clarity in the most tolerable form. If your children attempt to interrupt you while you are sharing your thoughts, now is the time to nip that habit in the bud. Just as you gave them a chance to speak without interruption, they now need to do the same. If they are doing it to you, they are accustomed doing it to other people as well. Remember that these moments of opposition provide wonderful teaching opportunities to model healthy communication skills.

Extend Love

The last step is to extend an olive branch of love. Whether that be a hug, kind word or a trip for ice cream. Whatever best fits your family dynamic will suffice. After heated exchanges, both parties’ feathers may be a little ruffled. As the parent it’s your responsibility to take the high road and spearhead efforts to soothe any remaining animosity. At the end of the day you both love each other and desire a harmonious coexistence. You won’t always walk away in agreement, but you will always have love to fallback on.

Raising children is tough. As they age, they begin to form opinions that are just as strong as yours. Fortunately, if you rely on the techniques above, your family will learn that disagreements don’t need to lead to heated debates that end in hurt feelings. Embrace your role as the best example your children have and be the change you wish to see.

Theron and Darlene NelsonHow to Peacefully Work Through Disagreements with Your Child
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Things to Teach Your Children Before They Leave Home

As parents, we all want what is best for our children. We want them to be happy and successful. We want them to become a thriving member of their community doing whatever it is they want to do. We want them to be smart and learn lessons, but we don’t want to see them get hurt. And while we should want all of these things for our children, there are certain things we should teach them first in order for everything else to fall into place.

Things to Teach Your Children Before They Leave Home

Teach them to be independent.

Teaching children to be independent is a bit of a slippery slope because it is the parental instinct to do everything and anything we can to help them along the way. Everything from submitting school paperwork and preparing lunches to filing their taxes for their first teenage job and reminding them about college application deadlines. It’s easy to take on far too much of what should be their responsibility. But teaching independence is the first step in leading them to achieve success later in life. So pack their lunches and submit their school paperwork for them, but when they’re old enough show them how to do it. Sit down with them and teach them to file their taxes for their high school job and take a backseat when it comes to college applications. The more responsibilities you give them early in life, the more they’ll be prepared for the road ahead.

Teach them to be opinionated.

Make sure your children understand the importance of discovering and standing behind their own beliefs and opinions. This world needs people who are passionate about what they believe because that is how progress is put into action. Make sure they understand that their opinion does not necessarily have to mirror yours, but it should be well-informed. In encouraging your children to be opinionated on specific issues, you will teach them to be comfortable in taking a stand for what they believe is right.

Teach them to be respectful.

Teaching your children to be respectful should come as no surprise. However, it’s important to make an extra effort to teach your children from a very young age to be respectful towards everyone they meet – not just their elders. This applies to people who are younger, different, and less advantaged than they are. By teaching your children to be respectful towards everyone, your children will likewise become respected by everyone as well.

Teaching these things to your children will help to shape them into the young adults that will make an impact on this world.

Theron and Darlene NelsonThings to Teach Your Children Before They Leave Home
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3 Invariable Life Truths All Life Coaches Know

There are just some truths that pervade the human experience. For one, life isn’t fair. No matter where you are or what you do, you can acknowledge this fundamental reality. This isn’t the only truth that most people can identify with, though. There are dozens upon dozens of invariable life truths that all coaches know; here are three that are true across the board.

3 Invariable Life Truths All Life Coaches Know

Life Isn’t Fair, But You Can Be

It’s invariably true that life isn’t fair. That may have been one of the first life lessons you ever learned. When you fell on the playground or were passed up for the school basketball team, your parents probably comforted you about how life wasn’t fair. But the one component that was probably left out of that adage was that you can be fair—even when life isn’t.

You can be fair. You can be just. You can be kind. Even when the world passes you up for opportunities, even when the world is unkind and unjust. Don’t let it harden you against the beauty of life.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

As you get older, you start to realize how insignificant all of the little things are. When you’re younger, you tend to focus on the minute details of your everyday experience. You stress about the small stuff, and it precludes you from enjoying the larger joys in life.

Most life coaches will tell you not to sweat the small stuff. In the end, it’s not what really matters.

Invest in Relationships

What does matter most in life, though, is relationships. You can invest in the stock market and gain temporary riches, or you can choose to invest in relationships and be rewarded for a lifetime.

Any life coach worth his or her salt would tell you that relationships are what makes life beautiful, meaningful, and impactful. You may be able to balance a portfolio, but if you can’t communicate with your loved once in a deep and meaningful way, you’ll always be poor in a real sense. The people that you choose to be in your inner circle inform who you are as a person, so when you invest in positive associations, you become a better person thereafter.

Theron and Darlene Nelson3 Invariable Life Truths All Life Coaches Know
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