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September 5th, 2017 | 13 comments

Have you ever felt your strong-willed child’s constant demands and empathetic “NO”s steam roll your ability to set safe, firm and consistent boundaries?

I remember the alarming feeling the first time my 21-month Ayaan yelled “NO” in my face when I tried to brush his teeth.

It didn’t feel good. I immediately went into my body and could feel a rush of energy go from my head down to my chest where my heart started to thump. That was my sign I was about to get triggered.

I knew what would come out of my mouth wouldn’t be in a loving or pleasant tone so I let the power struggle go for a moment to breathe and *try* to come back to a neutral mind.

This power struggle was the perfect opportunity for me to see how I can mesh some mindfulness into setting boundaries and I can report 5 months later we have made INCREDIBLE progress. NOT perfect… A less triggered mama and better transitions.

Getting into power struggles with your kids is a big energy sucker.

Why? Because time spent debating, yelling, taming tantrums and calming our mind and body is precious time NOT spent on connecting with our kids.  Learning a better approach to respectfully communicating while setting firm boundaries is especially crucial if you don’t have a lot of free time to waste. (Ughhh ME!!)

In this TejalTV episode, you’ll learn why and how to drop the destructive power struggles and you’ll also pick up a few simple and easy-to-implement strategies to set boundaries in calm, supportive and firm, but kind way.


Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Today, we talked about creating consistent boundaries through connection and play.

Based on everything we discusses, what’s the single most important action you can take right now to support you and your children to make sure both of you feel heard, compassionate and validated? Leave a comment below and let me know.

Please don’t be shy to share as much detail as possible. I read and respond to every comment and I know the other mamas who join us from around the world would deeply benefit from your wisdom too.

Thank you from the depths of my heart for watching, sharing your perspective and making this space in the Internet a kind and supportive place.

Feeling out of control when you are trying to provide safe boundaries for your children can feel exhausting and overwhelming if you don’t have a plan… Give the gift of a plan to a mama in need.

If a mama you know gets lost in the power struggle sinkhole, please share this post on social media or with them personally.

With so much appreciation,


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13 people have commented
  1. Very thoughfully put across points. Though sometimes explaining consequences also fails for me when 2.5 yo becomes over curious to experience or wants to help in cooking or chores. But yes we have to continue to keep explaining and gradually they understand. Constant NOs r big power struggles and “distraction” or “diversion” works sometimes for me. Like just asking a totally unrelated question, reminding him of last or upcoming fun trip or shopping.

    • I hear you mama, I have a 2.5 year old too. You’re totally right – Distraction and redirect isn’t 100% but it’s actually GOOD for our kids to feel sad sometimes. Cause life will give us situations right where we will feel sad. Things won’t go our way. I truly believe it build resilience and when we do it from a place of teaching and empathetically connecting instead of shutting down their feelings, I truly believe they grow.

  2. What a great topic! I especially love the “making a good choice” method. This is what a try to do with my girls. Although I will be honest I am so quick to snap and lose my grip on the situation and it’s something I have really been trying to work on! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    • Thanks so much for watching Mikaeya! Letting our kids know they are empowered beings NOW that are hardwired to make the right choices is crucial to build self-confidence right?! We are all a beautiful growing process. I find that the moments I snap, I take an honest inventory of what caused me to snap. Did I not have enough water. Did I not have enough sleep, was a hungry… All these other factors sometimes contributes to our impatience and irritability and when we take stock of the whole BIG picture, we can find more grace and compassion for ourselves and really find out how to keep our nerves, mind and body calm so our stress responders don’t get activated!

  3. This is so hard! My 3 year old is so strong willed but we have learned how to set boundaries along the way. And the power struggle has gone down a bit. She still tries to outwit us but she knows the consequences now for her actions. The best thing I have done is to not react but respond to her strong will!

    • Not reacting is such a hard but such a great thing. They get a surge of power when they see us squirm and know they can get under our skin. For some kids they like pushing that button others more than some, but developing our own skill-set and knowing we will fail at times and that’s TOTALLY okay makes us move through it without the guilt!

    • So glad it served you Valerie! I never thought about it either, until I spoke to someone close to me who shared they experienced sexual trauma in their early 20’s and they realized they didn’t know how to say NO. I was like omg, so many of us don’t know how to say NO in so many different spectrums. That’s where I started to think more about it.

  4. Such a great post! I think it great when we can check in with ourselves and attempt to come from a more compassionate space towards ourselves and our family when setting boundaries. And if we fail, that’s okay too because we are human and children can feel more accepted in doing so.

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