Giving The Control Back To Your Child

Yes you read that title right.
Gasp! I know... since when do parents give their little kids control???

I have been noticing a trend in all of my parenting books...
Though it may be worded differently and approached in various forms throughout my books,
the trend is simple.
Give the control back to your kids!

I know how that sounds.
And I know that many of you reading this will gawk.
But I have to say, that at least with my daughter, this has been very very good for her AND for me!

I have severe anxiety.
My most severe anxiety is generated by the things that I have little to no control over.
I know. Go figure.
So I guess you could say I am a bit of a control freak?
It's a curse I tell you.

My anxiety was progressively getting out of control the older that my little girl was getting.
As she entered toddlerhood, she began demanding more and more control.
And I fought her on it.
I wanted to tell her what she could and could not do at the playground.
What she could and could not touch.
Which outfit and shoes to wear.
What to eat and when to eat it.
etc. etc. etc.
Does this sound familiar?
Are you in the same boat???

So here's what I did.
I gave the control back to my daughter.
I let her choose what she wanted to play on at the playground, and if it made me nervous, I would stand right next to her and maybe even assist her while she explored.
I let her touch and play with just about anything that I knew would not cause serious injury or potential death.
She learned pretty fast that she doesn't want to play with outlets!
I allow her to pick out her outfits and I don't give a darn if she is wearing non-matching shoes and that they are on the wrong feet.
Instead of placing a plate of food in front of her, I give her choices. For instance: "Do you want an apple, or a carrot?" That way I have control over the fact that she is eating healthy. She just has control over which healthy option.

That last one is pretty much the key to all!
Giving your child the option between 2 things allows your child to practice their independence, while you guide them in a positive and healthy direction!

I cannot even begin to express how freeing it has been!!!
My daughter no longer fights me on the control.
She no longer has major tantrums over the fact that she keeps hearing "No".
She no longer is constantly defiant.
"The Terrible Twos" came and went for us like a blink of an eye because I let her have an appropriate amount of control for her age!
Imagine that!

Not only is my daughter so much happier with more freedom, get this- SO AM I!!!
Whenever I feel that I need to take control of a situation, I give her two choices.
We both win.
Letting go of the little things like mismatched outfits, and backwards shoes has been a MASSIVE breath of fresh air!
Taking just a split second for me to decide how important something is, or how dangerous an activity may be, before asserting my dominance- best decision of my life.
Now when I say "No", my daughter listens, because she has caught on to the fact that I only say "No" when it is important or dangerous.
We have very few pride battles, and 100x less defiance.
She may be a little threenager sassafrass and all, but oh my goodness has this method made AALLLLL of the difference for us!

If you are doubtful, why not just go for it and give it a try?
Once again, when adapting new parenting techniques- consistency and diligence is key to seeing results!
You gotta stick to it and give it time!
You got this!

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