*Trapped because they don't feel like they have any freedom.
*Trapped because they don't feel like they can make any of their own choices.
*Trapped because they don't feel like they have any control over their lives.
Think about it for a minute, put yourself in your children's shoes. Our kids get up in the morning and we tell them what they are going to eat, what they are going to wear, what they can and can not do, when they will sleep, etc... For the most part, we make all their decisions for them, or at least have a say in all of their decisions. As they start to feel constricted, the struggle for power begins and they act out and don't listen. If someone told me what to do all the time, I would feel trapped too.
So here is a thought. Just say "yes".
What does this mean? Pick a day in the next week or so and try to say "yes" to EVERY request your kids make. Yep, every request. Think of it this way. When they ask for something, will it hurt them, or put them in a harmful situation? If not, seriously consider saying "Yes".
Maybe they want gum before breakfast, say "yes". Maybe they don't want to wear a shirt today, say "yes". Whatever it is, say "yes".
Will gum for breakfast hurt them? No. Will running around without a shirt on, hurt them? No.
While you are saying "yes", think about why you usually say "no". Do we say no because it is inconvenient for us? Do we say "no" because it is going to make more work for us? Do we ever say "no" and then while we are arguing with our kids about the "no", realize that it wouldn't have really matter if we said "yes", and it would have saved us the struggle? (I am guilty of all of the above)
When I evaluate why I answer the way I do, I usually realize that my answers have more to do with me, then they do the request, or my kids. Yikes, that is not how I want to be.
SO, Let's do this together.
Pick a "YES" day. You will find that giving them some freedom to choose, some power over their own lives, will improve their behavior and your relationship.
You might also find a transformation happen within yourself. You might start realizing that you can say "yes" more than you thought, and start giving your kids a little more choice. This will lighten your load, it will alleviate power struggles and bring peace to your relationships.
Why do YOU say "No"?
Do you think you can do this?
When are you going to plan your "Yes" day?