Identifying Power Struggles

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Thought Series : Raising a HAPPIE Toddler

Day 9

Moving on to the next most important need that must be satisfied for a HAPPIE Toddler, the need for POWER.

Well, who does not like Power? Let me rephrase it – Who likes to feel ‘powerless’?

As humans, we feel good when we have power over something or someone – it’s natural, and that’s why we knowingly or unknowingly crave for it. And the same is true for your toddler, too.

When your child was born, you saw her like this innocent little tiny and ‘powerless’ being – who was really incapable of doing anything without you! And that image of your baby stays with you, much beyond infancy! But your child grows out of it sooner than you do.

As soon as your child enters toddlerhood, you will see him/her seeking power – often in ways that are irritating and frustrating. And that’s what we call a ‘Power struggle’.

You might have had several encounters with your child, when either one of you ends up being angry / frustrated – that’s when you know it’s a ‘Power Struggle’. It’s like tug of war – only one side can win! The other has to be disappointed.

Today, I want to help you identify the power equation you share with your child, and in which situations do you often have a ‘Struggle for Power’?

Then in the upcoming posts we’ll see how we can ‘not’ engage in the tug of war with our child, and arrive at win-win solutions!

Thought for Today:

What are situations where you are calling the shots i.e. you have the power?
(NOTE: One way to identify these areas is to think when does your child resist the most)
Examples: Food, Clothes, Sleep, Bathtime, Diaper change, Brushing, Other chores

Are there any scenarios where your child can call the shots i.e. the power lies with him / her? If yes, what are they?
Examples: Play (maybe)?

Based on the above evaluation, give a judgement about the Power Equation you have with your child (Parent : Child)
Example: Power equation (Me:My child) = 70:30
I’m sure, you’ll be surprised with this evaluation because you never saw it this way.

Be as authentic as possible, there’s no right or perfect equation here – let this be an objective evaluation of your current situation, so we can know how we can balance it out a little more – and help our little toddler have power in a measure that she can safely handle!


We’ll learn how we can balance the power equation through simple actions.


Access Previous Days In This Series: Raising a HAPPIE Toddler

Day 0 : Laying out Universal Human Needs
Day 1 : Healthy Parent = HAPPIE Child
Day 2 : Making Self-Care A Habit
Day 3 : Meeting your toddler’s physical needs
Day 4: Identifying your own triggers before you tend to your child’s
Day 5: Dealing with feelings of guilt & inadequacy (Moms!)
Day 6: Attention v/s Connection Parenting
Day 7: Ways to connect with your Toddler
Day 8: Making way for ‘special time’

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Author: Sharon Mary

Hi! To say the least about me, I am just a Mom trying to figure out the best way to raise my little daughter. 'Thought Symphony' is the fruit of my passion to share my learning and experiences as a ‘Mom’ to help parents like you have the smoothest ride possible on this roller coaster called ‘Parenting’.

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