Have you ever felt like there’s a constant battle between you and your kids?
Like, asking them to pick up the toys only leads to meltdowns and attitudes out of nowhere. All we want is to walk around without injuring ourselves the Legos left on the floor.
I used to think that I was struggling with my kid’s meltdowns because it seemed to always be a full moon. Then I learned about power struggles.
Kids have a basic need for power. When they feel like they don’t have power, that is when the struggle begins.
But giving them power doesn’t have to mean giving up your power as a parent.
There are ways where both you and your child can feel in control.
Check out this episode with my guest Lindsay to learn why power struggles happen and 3 tips to overcome them.
Lindsay helps moms get their kids to listen without yelling, threats, or bribes. She likes to think of herself as your future parenting BFF – someone who is supportive, encouraging, helpful, and understands what it’s like to parent in the real world.
- Website: www.parentingwithlindsay.com
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- FREE Webinar: https://www.parentingwithlindsay.com/realhappymom
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Transcript of this episode
Real Happy Mom 0:03
Listening to the Real Happy Mom podcast, the weekly podcast for busy working moms to get inspiration, encouragement and practical tips for this journey called motherhood. My name is Tony and you are listening to Episode 157. Well, hi there and welcome back to another episode of the Real Happy Mom podcast. I’m super excited to have you on today because we are going to be talking about power struggles, in particular tantrums and power struggles with our children. Now I will be honest with you, my little one is now five years old and that tantrums are real. I have done a pretty good job up until this point with managing the tantrums but lately I have just been struggling. So I’ve got a parenting expert to come on today to help us with this. Because I want you to know you are not alone like I’m struggling with it too. So my guest Lindsey is going to be helping us with three tips to overcome power struggles with our children. In this episode she shares with us why tantrums and power struggles even happen because sometimes it seems like they just kind of come out of nowhere to be honest. And then she also shares with us three strategies that we can use the overcome power struggles and these tips that she gives I promise you are something that are definitely practical and something that I’m already using now since recording this episode. And then lastly she gives some encouragement to the moms that are struggling and having a hard time with their kid feeling like they’re failing not sure what to do when it comes to these tantrums and power struggles so mama if you are having a hard time with those tantrums, trust me one you are not alone into we got Lindsay here who is going to help you so make sure you stay tuned and listen to this full episode because I promise you it is going to help you out and definitely make you see you are not alone. Now before we jump into this episode really quick, I want to make sure that you know about the Real Happy Mom Facebook community. This Facebook community is pretty much like my after party to the podcast. So what are you talking about here today about power struggles we will carry on the conversation over in the Facebook group. And we also do some other fun things as well as get that inspiration encouragement that we need. Because let’s just be real, this motherhood journey can sometimes be a little lonely and a little challenging. So I definitely want to be there for you and helping you along the way. So join me over there in the Facebook community to get all of that and so much more. And then lastly, before I forget, we do monthly trainings with Trello now if you’re like Tony what is Trello Trello is a project management tool that I have been using that has been helping me to simplify my life helping me to get things organized in ways that I cannot do before. It is kind of like having electronic sticky notes and let me tell you, I have a way to get things in order when it comes to the home and life that a lot of times like you’ll probably just see like how to use it for your business or how to use it for work. So I will show you in these monthly trainings how to use Trello to help with your life. In some of the previous modeling trainings I’ve shown how to use Trello to create meal planning and meal prep boards as well as a home management binder and so much more so make sure you join me in the Facebook community at Real Happy Mom comm slash community again that’s Real Happy Mom comm slash community. All right, I want to see you there. So let’s go ahead and jump on into this week’s episode now that we have that out of the way
Real Happy Mom 3:39
all right Lindsey, welcome to the podcast I’m
super excited to have you I’m excited to Thanks for having me.
Real Happy Mom 3:45
Yes Lindsey Lindsey, I was just telling you before I hit record like I I’m dealing with the the power struggles with my children, so I’m super pumped to have you and talk to you about power struggles and how we can overcome them. But before we jump into that, I just wanted you to share a little bit about you and what you do.
Sir, I am in the realm of positive parenting and I help moms get their kids to listen without yelling threats and bribes repeating themselves over and over and over again. And I am a mom of two little kids myself I have a seven year old and a five year old and I know how hard parenting is and I am here as a guide in many ways but I want you to think of me as almost like your parenting BFF like I’m here to support you and reroute you on and I never want you to ever feel bad about how you’re parenting because we are all doing our best and we are all working progress.
Real Happy Mom 4:41
Yes definitely. And I’m totally with you when you say a work in progress because sometimes I feel like I have it like I’m good I got this and then other days I’m like oh my god save me Help me please. Thank you in particular about power struggles because like I was mentioned to you before. I have I have a now eight and five year old, and my five year old God bless America. He gives me a hard time when it comes to my own struggles. Like he was such a great baby, such a great toddler, like he had tantrums, but it will be like literally for like 20 seconds and it’s over. boom, done. So it was easy. But now, Lindsey, you got to save me, like help me out here. So I’m just wondering, let’s start from the top. Why do Pam tantrums and power struggles happen to begin with?
Yeah, so power struggles are we all have this innate desire for control over ourselves and our lives and our kids are really no different. And where it comes out, as you know, those behavior issues, and we call them power struggles is where, you know, the power dynamic is off, they’re either wanting a lot of power, or were wanting a lot of power and control. So they are doing that for a couple of reasons. Maybe they feel out of control, and they’re trying to, you know, that overwhelmed feeling, and they’re trying to get more control. It’s kind of like a coping mechanism. I know I personally do this as well, when I’m feeling really overwhelmed and out of control, I try to, you know, Boss everyone around and tell them what to do and try to over control. So our kids do that, too. They also feel when they’re feeling really disconnected and almost like they don’t belong, or they don’t matter. They feel important when they are in charge or they’re, they’re the boss or not letting anyone boss them around. So it’s almost this defense mechanism to almost feeling disconnected from either you or the other people in their lives. So those are a few reasons why the power struggles happen. And then tantrums can be related to power struggles, and we’re talking about tantrums. In the context of power struggles here, it’s just, you know, that’s their way of communicating. So, all misbehaviors miscommunication, and they’re telling us something when they are vying for control when they are tantruming when they are, you know, throwing things and hitting things and all of those fun things we get to experience as parents, they’re really telling us that they’re frustrated, they’re feeling overwhelmed, they’re feeling jealous, they’re feeling unseen on heard all of these things. So as parents we just need to become really good at interpreting what they are really saying. And then working with that rather than taking it personally and you know, getting our defenses up.
Real Happy Mom 7:42
Yeah, no, definitely and one thing that I heard a long time ago I don’t even remember who said this. So if you’re listening, like I said on my podcast, I apologize I can’t give you credit but I remember listening to one lady and she was saying, you know, sometimes she like looks at her child and she thinks of her child is like, a little drunk person or, or she thinks of them as like something like any little itty bitty so she doesn’t take it personally. And that’s sometimes what I have to do I have to like not like get mad at my son when he’s like throwing those tantrums. So it’s easy for me to kind of control myself in that aspect. So I don’t act out when he’s acting out. But the problem is is trying to get him to like come back down is the biggest thing is I’m like feeling like okay, like, bro, like, it’s been like 20 minutes, like, can you calm down? I’m just wondering, like, what strategies do you have when it comes to overcoming these tantrums and power struggles when our kids are just kind of losing it?
Yeah. So when they are like, really tantrum and melting down and they you, you almost you feel like you can’t calm them down there, they do get to a place where it is all consuming and all overwhelming were literally the part of their brain that’s responsible for calming down is just not there for the moment. So keeping a really calm presence yourself so they can sort of feed off of your energy is really, really important. So that’s always step one is getting getting your head in the game and getting centered yourself and staying calm. Anything connecting to your child. So if you think back to what I said a couple minutes ago about you know, they’re feeling disconnected and they’re trying to get power. So they feel like they they belong and matter, essentially. So anything connection related is going to make it feel like a safe space for them to a let out their emotions, but be calm down it signals to the brain that it’s safe to calm down. When they’re in that high reactivity mode. They’re in a fight flight or freeze response. So that connection brings that safety feeling to them to calm down. So even saying something like I need a hug and just extending that invitation and if they don’t respond if they Don’t Hug that’s okay just repeat yourself I need a hug and if they don’t do it again I need a hug just you know find me when you’re ready and you can give them some space you can leave the room you can stay in the room it doesn’t really matter but the invitation for connection remains there. Sometimes just validating feelings and and or you know narrating the story from their perspective so if they’re upset because you said no about something oh you really wanted that you’re you’re bummed out I said no, or you know, something like that, you know, my son bought him an orange juice at the market this morning and we were walking rocking home and within like a block he had just down the orange juice and he was upset he was upset that he had no more orange juice. And, um, and it was just like, okay, yeah, you’re, you’re disappointed you drank that so fast and it was so good and now it’s gone. And so just kind of putting words to their feelings can really really help and the other thing that’s kind of feels a little bit counterintuitive is just letting the tantrum happen and and it’s not that you’re letting the behavior happen but you’re like providing a safe space to let out their feelings so if you think about it, like they’re having a rough time and they’re letting it out and you’re just like okay, I’m just gonna hang out with you I’m just going to be here with you. And it’s okay I’m here for you whatever you need and you don’t even have to say much but just just be with them and that’s a good those are anything that connects like that is going to be a really really great step to help them calm down and then if there’s any correction that needs to happen say they’ve hurt somebody or they’ve destroyed something or something like that. After do this after when everything is calm because in the moment they’re not their brain is not able to hear that correction advice or it doesn’t want to hear they’re just want to be mad for a little bit so so the correction piece can come later and it can come 20 minutes later it can come a couple hours later if need be so just don’t be in a rush to jump to the correction piece. Connect first make sure they’re in a listening state and then then you can bring in that and teach them you know, and then teach them with the correction piece to Okay, where do we get upset? How do you want them to show that they’re upset? Right and you can start to work on that with them too.
Real Happy Mom 12:41
Yeah, definitely. You brought up a lot of really good things because I know with my youngest I’ll tell him I’ll ask them I’ll be like do you need a hug and he’ll be like yes mommy. And I’m like Okay, come on, come on. But sometimes I’ll be honest like I’m like so pressured I’m like get away from it. I know I can’t even do it
well and that’s an interesting one too because I’m like you sometimes where I don’t want to do it but when I do it the hug helps me calm down yeah it really really
Real Happy Mom 13:14
yes definitely because literally yesterday I was in the store returning some items and I don’t know why but it was taking the lady forever to like ring up my stuff and do the the credit onto a store credit card and he just lost it and I’m just like bro like first of all it’s like all these people looking at me Second of all, you’re super loud. Like oh my gosh, like I’m trying to stay calm but at the same time he’s not and so like immediately like I always go back to like the baby days like okay, you’re either tired or hungry. Like it’s one of those two things. But for him it was I think he wanted something and I was like no like you can’t have that. So it took him a while to calm down. And I just was like having such a hard time because I was I’ll be honest, I was embarrassed because I’m like bro like everybody’s looking at you will not be quiet and then the lady like was getting like you know like flustered cuz she’s like, oh, there’s all this noise and I’m just like, Oh my God because this new words like really and then it did because then they were like giving away some stuff for free and like I missed it because it was like, whoever gets in first five minutes gets this whatever free thing they were given them like, ah, like I didn’t even get the free stuff. But I just really wanted him to just like whoosah and then literally we got in the car and I started driving boom he was out he was sleep. So I knew he was tired but it’s just like, a lot of times like you know, how can we like keep those things under control so it doesn’t like flare up and he’s rolling around on the floor and crying and making a whole lot of noise, that kind of thing.
Well and it’s hard to when they when they get a bit older with a tired piece like when When they’re babies, you kind of know their nap schedule. But like when they’re older, they don’t have a nap schedule, right? So like, the tired is, it catches me off guard to like, it really does. So it’s I mean, it’s being able to tune in, but also like, when you’re out in public, there’s the added layer because you feel all the eyes on you and you feel the pressure and then you’re, you’re worried other people are judging you, and you’re judging yourself. So there’s, you know, when you’re out in public, like, so much of this is less so much of parenting is our inner work and like our ability to deal with our own crap. Because really, who cares what the random people in the store thinking in all honesty, and we don’t want to be disrespectful to that, and, and anything, but when we are in line with how we want to parents, and our parenting strategy, like we are focused on Okay, like, my priority is helping my kid regardless of what anyone else is thinking or doing, it becomes easier now that is easier said than done. So if like, you were kind of tied to that, you know, cashier or whoever was doing your, your refund for you. But in usually in a store setting, I would recommend just, you know, stepping outside for a few minutes. So you can get away from the pressure of having people look at you or go to the car or something like that just to calm yourself down. So then you can be that calm presence for your child. And, and when you’re calmer, you’re able to think of more creative strategies to help your child out versus when you are getting agitated, because then you’re just kind of, you know, maybe barking orders or you’re, you’re, you’re getting grumpy and like angry and it’s just counterproductive.
Real Happy Mom 16:55
No, definitely because I look back at this situation, I’m like, there’s so many different ways that that could have gone differently had I had changed the way that I was, you know, handling things, and not that it was like terrible, but it could have, it could have went a lot better had I just like, probably walked out of the store, like you said, or, you know, not continued to keep shopping. Everything like it’s crying was happening, you know, it was a lot of things that I’m definitely I can do. And for sure, seeing it now. Like keeping that calm presence, I think is the key thing. That I think especially for us moms, like we just think like, oh, they’ll figure it out, like they need to get it together. But I think a lot of times too, like we don’t want to, you know, kind of push on some more of that trauma or cause our kids to have issues or whatever. So it’s like, it’s this fine line between like, okay, like, how can I like do a good job of parenting, but at the same time that Tom has like it?
Yeah, and, and so many, so many moms are worried about, about about exactly what you just said, like, like, I don’t want my kid in therapy complaining about me. Like about how all the ways I screwed them up. But, you know, for, for me, what’s really helped is like, Okay, you know what, I’m probably going to screw them up in some way, shape, or form. And that’s not to say, I’m just throwing in a towel, but it’s like, Okay, you know what, you know, I can list off a number of reasons, you know, my parents screwed me up, or, or, you know, not that they were bad parents or anything. But I really don’t believe you can leave childhood without, like, you can’t leave childhood unscathed. Like, I feel like your perception of the world as a child, you don’t have a fully developed brain, you’re not thinking logically and rationally, you’re you’re, you know, even if we were to parent perfectly and do everything by the book, and everything that experts say, you still can’t control how your child perceives things. So from their perspective, they have a completely different view on the world than you do and, and I feel like, what really helps me is like, okay, I can’t control that I can’t control everything. And you know what? therapy? It’s not so bad, right? And I look at, I’m like, like, I really think we need to normalize therapy more because I think it’s really beneficial. And even I think of how much I have changed in my adult years and how I’ve improved and grown and I believe that is possible for my kids to so I feel like that does it. It takes the pressure off in some ways. Because I’m just like, Okay, you know what, I don’t have to be perfect.
Real Happy Mom 19:52
No, definitely I’m totally with you on that one because that’s the one thing I keep telling myself like, I don’t want my kid like sitting on the couch talking to me. Talking about me. But at the same time, like, I feel like we all kind of like pass on, like some things our kids like our parents pass something phones to us. So I totally agree with you on that one. But I’m just thinking about the mom who is having an extremely hard time with their child and feels like they’re failing, or they don’t know what they’re doing when it comes to child when they’re throwing tantrums or they’re not, you know, just not really showing up for the kids like how they think that they should. What, what would you say to that mom, so that they can begin to see like they are actually doing a good job and that they actually got it under control?
Yeah, so parenting, it’s really about, if you feel like you need to change something, then you can work on changing something. And and that’s not to say everything needs to be overhauled in your parenting, there’s probably a lot that you are doing well. It’s just we have a negative bias, like a negativity bias. Like we focus on all the things we’ve done wrong, when there’s a million things that we are also doing well with our kids. So sometimes, you know, two things that are super simple that come to mind is tracking what you what you want to achieve in your parenting. So what I mean by that is like, you know, if your child is having lots of meltdowns, okay, track the number of times you were able to remain calm during the meltdown. So don’t focus on the times you yelled and got upset and did whatever it was you’re doing. Okay? Did I like how many times did I remain calm today and start to track that. So then you can see a visual, and don’t focus again on perfection, it’s about progress. And if you think of parenting, like one of those stock market graphs that go up and down, up and down, up and down, and hopefully the turd dress to trajectory is going in that upward direction or going towards the goal you want to achieve. But there’s going to be lots and lots of ups and ups and downs. And the second thing that comes to mind is really about reframing your thoughts. And so if you’re thinking that, you know, my child is having epic, epic tantrums, and I can’t get them under control, like, that’s a very disempowering thoughts, right? And that’s what you’re telling yourself. That’s what maybe what you’re telling other people and that feels really deflating. But if you can shift that to something like, oh, we’re having a lot of tantrums, and I’m not really sure what to do right now, but I’m trying to figure it out. Like, that feels a little bit better. So you’re not trying to jump from like feeling that disempowered to like, hey, it’s so totally awesome that my kids having tantrums No, just look for a thought that feels a little bit better. And that’s your new that’s your new thought to yourself. So if you’re catching yourself, like thinking, Oh, this is you know, my kids having tantrums I have no idea what I’m doing like we’re gonna be stuck in this forever what’s it going to be like as a teenager all of these things just stop yourself and then put that new sentence in like you know what we’re having we’re having some tantrums we’re figure I’m and I’m figuring it out and something like that that just gives you that little bit of relief and just start to make those gradual shifts.
Real Happy Mom 23:28
Yeah, definitely because even when you’re saying that because I think I was having a conversation with my sister about the little guy and she was just like, what’s his deal because she did the same he did the same exact thing that he did to me and the story to her and but she has like way less patience than me so she was just like you’re going home to your dad like I’m not dealing with but like What’s his problem? Like he used to be like so chill and so cool and I’m like, I don’t know he’s just like going through things but even like even the way that was talking about it like now even talking to you, Lindsey like I’m seeing how I can like shift the way that I even talk about things so that it does sound more empowering versus I don’t know what’s wrong my kid my kids all messed up like because I know it’s just the face for him and so that’s part of the reason why it doesn’t bother me as much but the only reason why I was just like man like what’s going on because it’s literally like shifted I feel like literally like in the last month it’s just like all of a sudden boom like his tensions are like way overboard and it’s just like he doesn’t come down as easily as he usually does. So that’s I’m like, okay, like what’s going on? Did I miss something and is it me like Is it him? Am I not feeding him the right foods like what what’s going on? But I’m I’m beginning to see now after our conversation that you know, a lot of it starts with me and staying calm and the way that I talk to him and and talk to myself to about the situation.
Yeah, and if and if it’s if he’s not coming down right away, or if he’s like, it could be Just he’s overwhelmed emotionally like it could just you know sometimes it when we hold things together and hold things in or we you know we’re the we’re the good kid and we do what we’re what we’re told, all like emotions need to be felt so if we’re not feeling our emotions on the regular that just kind of builds up and then it spills out all at once and those are where we get like the 40 minute an hour long tantrums and those are just like just all of those pent up emotions just blasting out so it could be even it could be that it’s not about a power struggle okay just be about pent up emotions or something like he’s feeling overwhelmed in some way.
Real Happy Mom 25:42
Yeah, no, definitely because even when you say that I think about my oldest because that’s the my oldest he’s the more challenging one he gave me a run for my money when he was little he still does now but I think again, I I’ve learned how to deal with it a lot better. But he was that child literally would have a tantrum for like two hours like non stop, just go and I’m just like, bro, like, seriously, it’s been two hours Can you please like chill and watch it? Or you know what, whatever it was that you wanted to watch. So I’m definitely seeing that now and even to Lindsay just having those conversations with them because I think a lot of times we think like oh, they’re little kids like they don’t they don’t know they don’t know about their emotions like these kids know, like, they’ll tell me some things and like explain how they’re feeling. And when they’re thinking I’m like wow, like okay, I will sit back and relax a little bit like they have a lot of feelings and a lot of opinions like I think a lot of times that I just don’t acknowledge enough so being more mindful of that and and talking to them and just communicating with them like hey, like what’s going on? Like why are you so upset or you know, it’s something bothering you like those kinds of questions just don’t open up the conversation really have been beneficial, at least with the oldest because he has so many emotions that I just was like, I didn’t think a little kid can have that many emotions. But it’s really interesting once you begin to have those conversations what you end up finding out
Yeah, and those conversations go back to that connection piece that then you know, prevents the behavior from happening in the first place. Because they feel more connected to you more seen heard all of those things?
Real Happy Mom 27:23
Yes, definitely. Definitely. Now, Lindsay, you have shared so much wonderful goodness with me like I feel so good. Like I’m ready for a tantrum. Now. Lindsay, I’m ready. I’m just wondering before we sign off, if there is any words of encouragement or motivational quote that you want to share with us Real Happy Mom.
Yeah. I think just that parenting is about progress, not perfection, and you will never get it perfect. You’re always figuring it out and you are capable of figuring it out. No matter what you are dealing with. You are capable of figuring it out. And you are just on this parenting journey. And it is not meant to be perfect. And that’s okay. And you are doing great and fantastic as you are.
Real Happy Mom 28:13
Yes, yes. And yes to that. Lindsay. I have to say that all the time, especially to the moms that are listening because I know you’re a good mom because you’re listening to this podcast because if you weren’t, you’ll be doing Thank you so much, Lindsay for coming on. And sharing all of this with us. This has been so so good. I’m just wondering for the moms that are listening who want to connect with you learn more about you hear more of what you got. Where can we find you online?
Yep. So my website and all of the socials are parenting with Lindsay and I have a free webinar, how to get your kids to listen without yelling and repeating yourself over and over and over again. I can check
Real Happy Mom 28:52
that out. Absolutely. And I’ll be sure to include all of those links in the show notes especially that webinar so definitely make sure you you go ahead and grab that now Lindsey thank you so much for coming on and sharing all this with us. This has been so good I truly truly appreciate you.
I appreciate this discussion. Thank you so much for having me on.
Real Happy Mom 29:12
Now that does it for this episode of the Real Happy Mom podcast to find the links in the show notes make sure you head over to Real Happy Mom comm slash 157 and there you’ll find all the links that were mentioned in this episode. In particular, that webinar that Lindsay was mentioning now, this webinar is something that you need in your life if you are like Tony and I need some more help when it comes to these tantrums and just parenting in general. Lindsay is so so awesome and I really want to make sure that you get your hands on this so go over to Real Happy Mom comm slash 157 to get the links to the webinar. And also do me a favor if you found this episode helpful. Leave me a five star rating and review and Apple podcast. This does a lot of things one it lets me know Note that this has been helpful for you and to and let’s Apple podcast now that this is a awesome podcast for other moms to listen to so they will begin to recommend it to other moms because I really want to make sure we get this message out so that more moms get the inspiration and encouragement that they need to get them through this journey called motherhood. Now that is all I got for this episode. Make sure you join me in the Facebook group or remember Real Happy Mom comm slash community. And stay tuned for next week for another full episode. And don’t forget about Thursdays for mommy talk Thursdays. Those are just some quick episodes that I just want to give you a little boost of inspiration throughout the day. All right. So I will see you then take care and with lots of love