Episode 23 – Power Struggling: Pick Your Battles
We’ve been focusing on doing things that will improve our home for the month of September. Over the past couple of weeks we’ve talked about power struggling. We’ve identified how you get sucked into it and how to realize when that is happening. We’ve also talked about how to plan for, prevent, and deal with the blowup. So this week we’ll be talking about picking your battles.
A blast from the past.
This is one of the things that we would go back and change if we could with one of our first foster kids. We power struggled a lot with him. We wanted to be in control of everything. We didn’t pick our battles, instead we battled everything. Everything seemed to be an arguement. We tried to control his clothing, his speech, his attitude, his manners, basically everything.
It was miserable for us, and I can only imagine how miserable it must have been for him. We wish we could change the past, but we are also glad that we were able to learn from that very challenging time.
- Make an active choice as to which things you are going to work on. Don’t just take the “I’m going to fix everything right now!” approach.We like to focus on using basic skills. We often focus on little things like “Accepting No”, Accepting Feedback”, “Following Instructions”, “Having Good Personal Hygiene”.
- JUST PICK 1 Or 2!
- Realize what things you can control and influence and work on those.
- (This one will be hard!) It means that you have to let some stuff go.
- It also means that you have to be consistently focused on your battle.
How do you pick your battles.
- I like to pick things that I call “Potential Quick Wins!”
- Pick something small to work on that will yield quick positive results. (Making your bed is often an easy one. Check out this post Making Beds)
- Praise and Reward early success OFTEN!
- Make a plan for how you will work on specific areas.
- Positive/Negative rewards and consequences
- Track progress
- Focus on your battle and ignore all else that is not life threatening.
- Be positive. Really make and effort to be 10-20 positive to every negative. That’s super tough, but the rewards are HUGE!
Why is it so important to pick your battles?
- We’ve come to realize that foster kids usually lack some basic skills, a lot of basic skills.
- When you focus on one or two, they will learn them faster.
- It is less overwhelming. For your foster child and you.
- You and your foster kids will be much less frustrated.
- Your foster kids will feel empowered as they constantly make positive changes.
Call to Action:
- Strategically pick your battles.
- Remember “Potential Quick Wins.”
- Create an action plan for addressing the specific area.
- Let us know what your plan looks like and how it is working.
Thanks so much for listening. Stay tuned next week for more awesome tips…
If you liked anything we had to say, share this with your friends and go to iTunes and leave us a 5 Star review and Subscribe. This will help us reach and help other Foster Parents. Comment below and tell us about your plan of action or put it into action and let us know how it is going. We love to hear from you guys!
Until next time!
Ben & Deb Pugh
The Foster Parents