Picking your battles with your children

Parenting Author Susan Goldberg, MA, shares advice for parents on the best way to pick your battles with your children in order to limit arguing and controlling behavior
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Picking your battles with your children

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Picking battles with children. Do it wisely, because there will be many. What I try to do, sometimes I'm successful and sometimes I'm not as successful is there's a parenting writer called Barbara Coloroso, and she talks about whether something is illegal, immoral, or unsafe. And to that, I would add, or wildly inconvenient. And if it's none of those things, probably it's something your kids can do. So if it's around what your kids are wearing, if it's around their hairstyles, if it's around their choice of healthy food, those kind of things, what they want to play or what they want to do, I really really try hard to take a deep breath and let them make that choice, because otherwise you're going to be embroiled in battles all day long. And I also try to stop that automatic no. Don't do that. Or no. Because then once you've said no, you kind of have to stick with that no, and maybe it was something they could have done anyway. So I'm trying to remember to tell myself to take a deep breath before I answer any requests and really think about whether it is illegal, immoral, unsafe, or inconvenient, or just something that I don't really want to do. And if it's not one of those things, I try to let them do it. And that really makes a difference in the way the day goes.

Parenting Author Susan Goldberg, MA, shares advice for parents on the best way to pick your battles with your children in order to limit arguing and controlling behavior

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Susan Goldberg, MA

Author & Blogger

Susan Goldberg is a writer, editor, essayist and blogger, and coeditor of the award-winning anthology And Baby Makes More: Known Donors, Queer Parents, and Our Unexpected Families. Her writing has been featured on the CBC and the Globe and Mail, in Ms., Lilith, and Stealing Time magazines, and several anthologies, including the forthcoming Chasing Rainbows: Exploring Gender-Fluid Parenting Practices. Susan is a contributing blogger at Today’sParent.com and VillageQ.com. In 2012, she was chosen as one of BlogHer’s Voices of the Year. She’s currently (always) working on a novel, called Step on a Crack, and on Overflow, a one-woman performance piece about lingerie and breast cancer. Susan lives in Thunder Bay, Ontario, with her partner and their two sons.

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