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By Deborah Moore
Based on the work of Doris Landry, MS with permission

Dealing With Control

Living with a child-sized control freak can be frustrating. Battling a child's tenacious will over endless inconsequential interactions is wearying work. Giving the child many choices over his or her daily life doesn't seem to end the ongoing problem, either. How can a parent help a child deal with a need for control that has invaded home, school, and the child's friendships?

Remove Yourself. It's not about the parent finding a way to eradicate the problem, it's about the child. A child's continued need for control is indicative of his feeling intrinsically out-of-control, and has nothing to do with what you might have attempted to do to help your child change.

Ask Your Child. Create a dialog with your child to really find out what is fueling the undesirable control-behavior. How does the child feel inside when he has the need to take control? What is going on within the child that needs to be addressed? A child who is helped to recognize the fear or anger his need for control is masking, can take steps toward awareness and consciously work at letting go the need for control. A securely attached child cares about what his parents think and feel, and wants to please them. Parents who understand the true issue of control can deal with the issue at its core, and not waste time and effort on the resulting symptoms. Needing control is a tough behavior to break, but a child who knows that his present negative behavior is based on feelings and experiences in his past, will be able to work on a new pattern with the guidance of his family.

....Doris Landry, MS, LLP

The materials for this course have been reprinted with permission from the book Adoption Parenting: Creating a Toolbox Building Connections, edited by Jean MacLeod and Sheena Macrae Copyright 2006 EMK Press, all rights reserved. The complete 520 page book covering all aspects of becoming and being an adoptive family is available at Amazon.com.


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