The wrong battle

By: John and Kendra Smiley

All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’…                                                        Matthew 5:37

Here is a recent question from a listener.  “I ‘picked a battle’ with my strong-willed daughter and then decided it wasn’t a battle worth fighting. What should I do now?”  Maybe you have found yourself in the same situation.  Here are our thoughts.

  • If you pick a battle unwisely one option is to simply admit the mistake and make the correction.  A compliant child has probably not shown much opposition to your first decision so this is easily accomplished.
  • If your child is strong-willed that is a different situation.  Since the mom in the question above classified her daughter as a strong-willed child, it is important for her to think long and hard before using the first strategy we suggested.  That is especially true if the daughter argued with Mom about the decision.
  • Admitting the mistake and making the correction will give a protesting strong-willed child the impression she is the one in control.  If the original decision made by the parent is not harmful to the strong-willed child, then stick with it.  If the first decision was a major mistake, then changing that decision is warranted.
  • If a change is necessary be certain the strong-willed child understands it is NOT coming because the child was angry, intimidating, or lobbying for a change.  Instead it is an adult decision made after reconsideration.
  • The general rule: When you pick a battle, win it.   That is even more important if your child is strong-willed. Do your best to choose your battles wisely.

What have you done when you picked a battle unwisely?

Photo: Flickr

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