Helpful Tips on How to Overcome Power Struggles with your Child

If arguing and throwing a tantrum gets children out of something once, they’re probably going to try it again and again. Don't let it happen. Here are a few tips in regard to avoiding power struggles with your kids.

When it comes to parenting, doing what’s best for your child often leads to a power struggle between the two of you. If arguing and throwing a tantrum gets children out of something once, they’re probably going to try it again and again. We can’t let that happen. Here are a few helpful tips on how you can avoid power struggles with your kids.

Give them a Choice

Children often act out when they feel overpowered or powerless. Simply telling your kids to do something they don’t want to do will likely foster resistance. So, give them choices when it comes to getting things done. For example, if you clash with your child about finishing homework after school, offer two or three different times to actually get the homework done.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you are giving them all of the power in the situation. Make it clear to them that if they don’t hold up their end of the deal, they won’t be able to make the choice again in the future.

Avoid the Argument

Any time you get into an argument with your child, you give them the impression that they have the power to challenge what you say. This can lead to them thinking that acting defiant gets them what they want, which in turn causes them to misbehave more.

If your child tries to draw you into an argument over something, don’t give in. Instead, tell them that the discussion is over and leave the room. Walking away takes away all of their power to challenge you since you’re not there to argue anymore.

Keep the Kids Involved

When your kids are involved in the process of setting up rules and routines, they will likely feel better about following these rules in the future. Instead of making these decisions purely on your own, discuss it with them and ask for their input. Keeping them involved in the decision making helps them feel less overpowered and less likely to act out. Not only that; their input may also give you insight when it comes to establishing new rules.

If arguing and throwing a tantrum gets children out of something once, they’re probably going to try it again and again. Don't let it happen. Here are a few tips in regard to avoiding power struggles with your kids.

For example, if your kids often battle over who gets to sit in the front seat, this probably creates a power struggle between them. At this point, they’ll expect you to choose sides. However, if you work out a schedule together to determine when each one gets to sit up front, they’ll probably be more content waiting for their turn.

Work with Them

If you work at a task alongside your kids, they’ll see it more as something that needs to get done and not just something that you arbitrarily decided to make them do. Your child may see telling them to do something as a challenge but will be happy to lend a hand if they know their help is really needed.

If you ask your kids to do housework or clean their room, set a bit of time aside to help with the task. This will make the experience more fun and less bothersome for them. Just remember that you’re there to help, though – not work for them. Don’t let them use you being there as an excuse to do less than their fair share.

The best way to “win” these power struggles with your kids is to avoid them completely. By making your children feel more involved and letting them know that their contribution is appreciated, they will view following the rules as helping you, not losing a battle with you.


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Child Passenger Safety Week September 17-23 #TheRightSeat

This is a social good post and I was not compensated for this posting.

September is a time for a lot of things – though some went back in August, it marks the month for back to school for many of us. It is also that one month that gives us the transition from Summer to Fall – depending on where you live, the weather isn’t quite hot, but it also isn’t too cool yet either. But September is also a very important month for another reason – Child Passenger Safety Week. And while we should all ALWAYS be conscientious about the child and other passenger safety; this week signifies a time that we can spread the message to everyone in mass!

This year, Child Passenger Safety Week will run from September 17-23. With more than 1000 events are expected in 45 states across the country to raise awareness for proper car seat installation and usage, this is a great time to brush up on car seat safety tips and make sure your child is in the right seat, with the right fit and installation.  


For most of us, grabbing our gear and running out the door and hopping in the car is an everyday occurrence. Maybe you are headed to work, a play date, or on vacation – but we spend a lot of times in our cars. When we have little ones, we put them in their car seat and buckle them up without a second thought to whether or not they are in the right seat. We trust that they are safe – and we go on our way.

Did you know that every 33 seconds a child under 13 is involved in a car crash in the United States?

Car seats, if used correctly, can dramatically reduce the risk of fatality or injury. But over half of car seats are misused in a way that could reduce their effectiveness and 1 in 3 children killed in car crashes are completely unrestrained at the time of the crash.

Can you imagine? Thinking that your child is in the right car seat, only to find out that they aren’t!

I remember learning all about car seats when my first baby was born and having my car seat checked by an expert at the hospital before we ever went home. Now that he’s older it’s up to me to keep checking to make sure she’s still in the right seat as he grows. It can be hard to stay on top of all the details by myself, so I’m grateful for resources like, which has videos about how to install car seats and booster seats correctly and guides to picking the right seat by age and size.

The week concludes with “Seat Check Saturday,” where Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians will help parents and caregivers make sure their car seats are installed correctly. In most cases, this service is FREE.

Here’s a video that has been helpful for me:


To make sure you have the right seat for your child, visit, or find a Child Passenger Safety Week event in your area. During Child Passenger Safety Week, many communities will have Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians on-hand to provide education on how to use car seats, booster seats, and seat belts for children. To find events near you, including free car seat checks, visit

*According to 2015 data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Disclosure: Life of a Southern Mom did not receive any compensation for this publication. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

10 Helpful Books on Understanding Puberty for Boys

If you are reading this it’s probably because you are curious, worried, and scared about what your son may be experiencing or will experience. Where did our baby boys go? Our boys are facing so many changes to their bodies and as moms, we don’t know exactly what they are going through.

I have also rounded up some of the most popular books on Puberty for boys that you and he can read, to get a better understanding about Puberty.

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Want to learn even more?

Here’s a very informative article on “A Mom’s Guide to Puberty for Boys“, you can read.


Health and Rewards for Kids – Striking a Balance

Mom and girl reward

As moms, we are always looking for ways to keep our kids healthy and happy both mentally and physically. This includes teaching them how to live a healthy lifestyle by making healthy food choices and developing healthy habits such as exercise. One way to teach children good healthy habits is to reward them for making healthy choices. For example, allowing them to eat a piece of cake for dessert as a reward for eating an ample amount of vegetables for dinner. Some parents might be wary of using a reward system as a way to persuade their children as there can be some negative effects associated with creating a rewards system, especially when using sweets as the reward. However, rewards, when used effectively, can help your children to be encouraged to make healthy choices that will eventually turn into healthy habits. Here are some tips and tricks for implementing a healthy and effective rewards system for your children:

  • Explain Your Rewards– The most important aspect of implementing a rewards system with your children is to discuss how the rewards system works and why you are using the system. Communicating the purpose of the rewards system with your children shows them the reasoning behind using a reward. Without an explanation for their rewards children often focus too much on the reward they will receive rather than why they are receiving the reward.
  • Emphasize the Good Behavior Not The Reward – Remind your children that the important aspect of the rewards system is not what they are being rewarded but why they are being rewarded in the first place. In order for the system to be effective children need to associate understand that their good behavior or achievements are what is being emphasized not that they are being allowed a treat. This goes back to discussing with your children why they are receiving their reward after their positive actions. Rewards that are chosen by your children often work out the best because then it becomes a motivational tool. Rewards should also not be substituted by verbal praise but instead, be used as a supplement.
  • Use Healthy Rewards – Using healthy rewards can also be a way to develop healthy habits such as using healthier candy alternatives or activities as rewards. Rewards that also promote healthy choices can show your children that treats do not necessarily have to mean food that is high in sugar. Using these alternative rewards are a great way to motivate good behavior and help kids see the reward in healthy choices.

Mom and son with a treat

  • Allow Indulgence Sometimes – While we recommend using healthier reward choices, sometimes you have to allow kids to be kids and let them indulge in their favorite candy or treats. Teaching children the benefits of a rewards system is also about teaching them the importance of balance. Again explaining why you are letting them indulge in that instance makes the reward much more meaningful for your children.
  • Limit Your Rewards- Practicing restrictions with your rewards systems can help alleviate the system from turning into a system of bribery. Often using a rewards system too much can turn into bribing children into good behavior. Limiting the times you implement the rewards system with your children helps to bring focus to the positive behavior rather the reward itself.

Healthy habits for kids often develop depending on how you introduce them to these habits. A rewards system is a great way to introduce healthy habits and behaviors with children. However, the key is using the system in an effective way that emphasizes the healthy behaviors rather than the reward itself.

6 Fun Ways to Surprise Your Kids

6 Fun Ways to Surprise Your Kids

What better way to make your day than to see your child happy and smiling? It takes so little for a kid to be happy, that you could literally just give them their favorite candy and they’ll be joyful for the rest of the day. So, if you wish to surprise your bundle of joy from time to time, be creative and make their childhood the best period of their life, with a couple of amazing ideas.


Children love to spend every minute of their spare time with their friends, so why not let them do it. Arrange a sleepover at your home, and let them invite a couple of their best friends. Bake them cookies, let them watch their favorite show before they go to bed, or just let them play in their bedroom and enjoy their time together. To make it a real surprise, don’t tell your kids that their friends are coming over, just let them freak out when they see them on the front door all packed and ready for a fun night.

Game night

Family bonding is important, so make sure you work on it every day. One way to do that and to surprise your kid with a fun time is to organize a game night. Whether you decide to do it once a week or once a month, be sure to always come up with new creative games and make the game night thrilling each time. From Scrabble, through Pictionary and charades, you can turn a game night into an exciting event the whole family will enjoy.

Bring in balloons

There’s something about balloons that manages to instantly cheer up kids if they’re feeling low. So, make their day amazing as soon as they wake up by sneaking a bunch of balloons into their room while they’re asleep. Wake them up a bit earlier than usual the next morning, so they can enjoy a bit of playtime before they go to school.

Stay up late

You’re probably faced with the same question each evening, even though the kid already knows you won’t let them watch that movie or show they hoped they would enjoy. However, make one Friday night a month special, and surprise them by letting them watch TV a bit longer, or just hang out. Every child likes to feel grown up and this is one way you can make them happy.

Get them a teepee

Your little one’s room is their sanctuary and one of the places they enjoy the most. To make it even more special, surprise them with an adorable kids teepee and turn their room into a cute little playroom where they can spend time with their friends. Put a bunch of pillows inside the teepee, and let them even spend the night there if they want to. It’s the perfect place to let their imagination run wild, but also to take a quick nap.

Camping in the backyard with your kids

Camping in the backyard

Kids can never get enough of adventures, and camping is a safe way to offer them just that. However, if the rest of the family isn’t so fond of camping, you can let the kid have a little tent and all the gear in the backyard. Let them call a couple of friends and spend the night under the stars, just as they would if they were exploring the mountains. They’ll be able to enjoy themselves, without ever leaving your sight.

Children are so humble that it doesn’t take much for you to make their day unforgettable. Just let them enjoy stuff that makes them happy, and they’ll be forever grateful. Sometimes it’s worth breaking a couple of rules just to see that adorable smile on their face.


Parenting Hacks 101

Parenting Hacks 101

Parenting is the toughest job you’ll ever love. One can never be as lax as they can be when it comes to the welfare of their kids. There’s always fear and doubt clinching in us. For as parents we only want the best for them. So here are some of the things I learned as a parent of 3 lovable sons.

A mother should know how to take charge of everything single details. Children crave limits, which help them understand and manage an often confusing world. Show your love by setting boundaries so your kids can explore and discover their passions safely. But does that not mean you won’t allow your kids to live their own lives. You should also try not to fix everything for them. Give young kids a chance to find their own solutions. When you lovingly acknowledge a child’s minor frustrations without immediately rushing into saving them, you teach your child the beauty of self-reliance and resilience.

In this busy world that we live in, always find time for your kids. Let your child choose an activity where you hang out together for 10 or 15 minutes with no interruptions. There’s no better way for you to show your love. Encourage daddy time. The greatest untapped resource available for improving the lives of our children is time with Dad — early and often. Kids with engaged fathers do better in school, problem-solve more successfully, and generally cope better with whatever life throws at them.

Parenting Hacks 101

Fun can always bring fond memories but never forget to stay on guard. Enforcing limits is really about teaching kids how to behave in the world and helping them to become competent, caring, and in control. By that, you should pick your battles. Kids can’t absorb too many rules without turning off completely. Forget to argue about little stuff like fashion choices and occasional potty language. Focus on the things that really matter — that means no hitting, rude talk, or lying.

Yes, parenthood is the most exhausting job on the planet. Yes, your house is a mess, the laundry’s piled up, and the dog needs to be walked. But your kids just laughed. Enjoy it now — it will be over far too fast. Children are only small for so long, then they grow up to be there own person. In those fleeting years, do your best to help them grow up to be good people.

Do you have any Parenting Hacks that help your family you would like to share with others?

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