We’ve all heard the old adage, it takes two to tango?
Well, it also takes two to fight.
This post will share a strategy to remove one person from that fight—YOU.
The strategy can be used when your kids try to bait you—by knowingly pushing your buttons to intentionally pick a fight.
This strategy removes the powerful Dopamine hit your kids are seeking due to your refusal to argue, battle, or negotiate with them.
When you withdraw from the conflict, you aren’t taking the bait they’re offering. Instead, you’re remaining calm—and when needed, will walk away to remove yourself from the situation.
Don’t think of withdrawing from conflict as unkind or unhelpful, remember that the reason you’re withdrawing from a conflict your child is deliberately trying to drag you into.
You might also feel some guilt for walking away, so keep in mind that you’re not withdrawing from a child who is truly having a hard time and that is an important distinction.
So, when your child is pushing your buttons on purpose—well aware that he/she is goading you on—withdrawing from conflict is an ideal technique.
Refusing to engage shows you will not tolerate your child’s intentional misbehavior. It also establishes that, when your child calms down and/or stops the misbehavior, you will be more than happy to talk with and help them.
While it sounds simple, and it is, it’s important to follow these steps to avoid a power struggle.
- Pick one struggle to work on at a time
- Define the issue—what is the concerning behavior and why
- Set the expectation (what should your child do instead of talking back, complaining, etc.)
- Reveal in advance what you’ll do in the future (you’ll refuse to engage in a power struggle next time a situation devolves into one)
- Then you should Withdraw from Conflict IF necessary
MINDSET Management Tips: Refusing to engage requires deep breaths and bottomless reserves of calm, if you struggle, remember that in the long run, it’s worth it!
Your 8-year-old may whine to you when you tell him screen time is over. “Mooooom! I’m about to slay the Dragon! My friends get WAY more time playing Minecraft than I do! It’s not fair! Why can’t I just play longer? This is SO dumb!”
In response, resist the temptation to say in a loud voice “Excuse me, but I decide the rules of this house!”
“I love you too much to argue over what we’ve already discussed,” you can say. Then, walk out of the room.
It is extremely important that you have made it clear to your child in advance under what circumstances you will disengage from them. What’s more, if practiced consistently, it’s very effective. Over time your child will understand that you will not be listening to or entertaining further pleas, and the misbehavior will start to diminish.
Our goal at Resilient Martial Arts is to assist you and your family in any way that we can to reduce the physical, mental, emotional, and social stressors you are facing.
It takes a village to raise a child and we would be honored to be a part of your incredible life’s journey!
To apply for our program and schedule your child’s free trial, click the button below:
RESILIENT MARTIAL ARTS
6911 Chital Drive
Midlothian, VA 23112
Email: [email protected]
Eric Rangel-Ribeiro is the proud owner alongside Joshua Fracker, Barbara Robinson, and Bernard Robinson of Resilient Martial Arts a World Taekwondo, Kali & SKILLZ Lifetime Gold academy in Midlothian, Virginia. Eric is also a brand ambassador for SKILLZ Worldwide and specializes in working with members of the local Neuro Diverse community. As a leading advocate for adapting Martial Arts Classes for people of all abilities.