You are not the only one frustrated by your child’s lack of cooperation and struggles. You are not alone if you have tried parenting books but found it difficult to follow the advice. In the previous blog posts, I discussed why much sound parenting advice is challenging ( click to view). I recommend that parents keep calm. Power struggles with their children can feel like an emergency and force us to enter fight or flight mode. It is hard to stay calm when you are in fight or flight mode. Instead, we fall into old patterns of parent-child interaction that we learned as children from our struggle with our parents. Ways of work between parents, children, and their children can build tremendous momentum and resist change.
What can parents do to decrease conflict and improve family cohesion? If we want to see our families succeed, we must think like firefighters.
Firefighters and other emergency workers have to deal with extreme situations. They may need to calm fear and adrenaline-induced panic, as well as disoriented rescue civilians.
You will see similarities between power struggles and children in distress, disorganized, and dysregulated.
Firefighters are trained to respond to dangerous, unpredictable, and difficult situations.
Solving a fire at the last minute is not a good idea. The firefighter has a plan, roles, and contingencies in place. They ensure they have all the necessary equipment in their vehicles to deal with any emergency. It is difficult to know what to do in an emergency.
Anxiety and stress, such as those in a firefight or a building on fire, can disrupt a person’s ability to think clearly and solve problems efficiently. Many problems that are predictable and frequently encountered at a fire station before a fire call can be solved in the calm, low-stress environment of the firehouse. This allows for better decision-making than trying to make quick decisions under the stress and chaos of the fire scenes.
Firefighters learn the skills needed to deal with emergencies. This practice is often done under realistic emergency conditions. To create low visibility conditions in fires, smoke machines are used. Also, firefighters use burn buildings that are either specially constructed or scheduled to be demolished to practice live training drills.
Stress and anxiety are less likely to disrupt well-practiced tasks. It helps firefighters remain calm and composed in emergencies.
You can practice implementing firefighting planning, so you are familiar with them. It also helps to identify areas where plans might fail in an emergency.