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Purpose Parenting Blog

The End of Power Struggles: A Parable

Updated: Jan 16, 2022

Peter and Anna live together.

Peter has been stressed out because Anna has been having a hard time getting out the door on time in the mornings. Peter does not want to be late for work.

Peter: Anna, there's something that's been bothering me. Could we talk about it?

Anna: OK. Sure.

Peter: I've noticed that you've been having a hard time getting out of the house on time in the mornings. What's up?

Anna: I don't know...

Peter: That's OK. Let's talk it through together. I have time.

Anna: It's just that it's hard to get out of bed in the mornings. I'm sleepy when it's time to get up and moving.

Peter: Why have you been extra sleepy in the mornings lately?

Anna: Well, I think it's because I've been reading this really good book. It's hard to put down, so I read really late at night. Then I have a hard time waking up when it's time in the mornings.

Peter: So, you're feeling extra tired in the mornings because you stay up late reading your really good book?

Anna: Yeah, and I love my book and I want to read a lot of it every night.

Peter: That makes sense. I'm glad you found a book you really love. My concern is that my boss gets really upset with me when I'm late in the mornings, so I feel a lot of pressure to leave the house on time in a calm way. I don't like to feel stressed when I'm starting my day Does that make sense?

Anna: Yes, I know being on time for work is really important to you. I want you to be on time. Your work is important to our family.

Peter: Do you think we can find a solution? Can we come up with a way for you to get to read your book AND get up and out the door on time in the mornings?

Anna: I guess... maybe.

Peter: Do you have any ideas?

Anna: Well... If I did fewer things in the mornings once I get up, I could still get up really late and get out the door on time.

Peter: That would be a good idea, but I think we've already made the number of things you have to do to get out the door as small as we can.

Peter: I have an idea. What if you read your book before dinner? Then you can get to bed right after dinner clean-up is finished. If you get to bed earlier, it will be easier to get up on time in the mornings.

Anna: But I walk the dog before dinner.

Peter: How about I walk the dog before dinner so you get your reading time?

Anna: You would do that for me?

Peter: Yes! It would be fun for me to walk the dog and I really want you to get to read your book. Can we try that for a month and see if it helps you get out the door on time and low stress in the mornings?

Anna: Yes! I'm excited to try that idea. Thanks so much for walking the dog before dinner so I can read. If I get to read before dinner, I promise to get to bed on time and get up and out the door in the mornings!

Peter: Sounds like we have a plan. Let's try it for a month and check back in to see how it's working.

Anna: Sound good to me!

Peter is 38. Anna is 8. Peter is Anna's father.

This is Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS, described by Dr. Ross Greene in his book The Explosive Child.)

Try it! Eliminate Power Struggles from your relationship with your child. That's powerful! If you want support to learn how to implement CPS into your relationship with your child, set up a one-one-one coaching session with me today!

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