Playing to Prevent Power Struggles

Kids playing independently!  Parents celebrate when kids will finally play on their own or with a sibling.  Finally – a few minutes of breathing room for mom and dad to get some things done around the house! Independent play is important for your child’s development and should be encouraged, however, playing WITH your kids on a daily basis will do you and your kids a world of good.  It will even fend off some of the most frustrating power struggles.

Playing WITH your kids doesn’t have to be elaborate or take a lot of time. It can be as simple as throwing a ball or role-playing with dolls or action figures.  “Playing” with a teenager can be a game of backgammon, UNO, or a round of Wii Golf.  “Playing” is what ever your CHILD likes to do for fun.

3 Great Reasons to Play With Your Kids

1. Deepen Emotional Connection:  Kids love to play with us. When you spend time in their world – doing what ever it is they like to do – it creates strong emotional connections.  Imagine how your child will respond if you say, “I have 15 minutes before I have to leave for work and I would love to play/hang out with you.  Let’s do something YOU love to do for the next 15 minutes.” It doesn’t require a long time to create emotional bonds – but being INTENTIONAL about spending PLAY time each day with your child will do wonders for strengthening emotional connections.

2. Fewer attention-seeking misbehaviors: When parents play WITH their kids, they are PROACTIVELY filling the child’s attention basket in POSITIVE ways. Children have a hard-wired need for attention – it’s non-negotiable. If we provide sufficient POSITIVE attention on a daily basis, kids won’t resort to negative behaviors to get it – clinging, helplessness, sibling fighting, etc. 
When parents implement consistent playtime WITH their children – attention-seeking misbehaviors begin to fall off the radar screen!

3. More cooperative kids and fewer power struggles!  As playful parents fill their kids’ attention baskets in POSITIVE ways and emotional connection increases, children consistently become MORE COOPERATIVE at other times during the day! When your child’s hard-wired needs for emotional connection and attention are met, he doesn’t feel the need to “fight back” to get negative attention.

You’ll be amazed at how much more cooperative your kids will be throughout the day. 

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About the Author

Amy McCready
Nationally recognized parenting expert Amy McCready is the Founder of Positive Parenting Solutions and the best selling author of The “Me, Me, Me” Epidemic - A Step-by-Step Guide to Raising Capable, Grateful Kids in an Over-Entitled World and If I Have to Tell You One More Time…The Revolutionary Program That Gets Your Kids to Listen Without Nagging, Reminding or Yelling. As a “recovering yeller” and a Certified Positive Discipline Instructor, Amy is a champion of positive parenting techniques for happier families and well-behaved kids. Amy is a TODAY Show contributor and has been featured on CBS This Morning, CNN, Fox & Friends, MSNBC, Rachael Ray, Steve Harvey & others. In her most important role, she is the proud mom of two amazing young men.