Purpose Parenting Blog

The End of Power Struggles: A Parable

Updated: Oct 23

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!






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