The Upside to Bad Behavior

Posted October 1, 2015 by

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Life is busy, isn’t it? We often get caught up in what needs to get done and focus our attention on what isn’t working, or what needs to change. This can get exhausting! By giving yourself a break and finding the positive in power struggles, you can take some of the weight off your shoulders.

At the root of most power struggles is a child figuring out how to advocate for himself.

While it’s not easy to live with, it’s normal for kids to challenge your authority — it’s part of growing up.

How do you find the positive in that?

For starters, a bold, assertive personality is often characteristic of a successful leader. As kids grow older and learn how to negotiate effectively, they become better prepared for adulthood. Skills like speaking up, debating and standing up for yourself can all lead to a rewarding career path. Need more help seeing the positive? Read The Strengths of the Oppositional Defiant Child.

Remember, your goal isn’t to make power struggles go away or change your child’s personality; your goal is to teach your child the skills they need to be successful. Kids need to learn how to have power struggles in a way that’s not a personal attack — that means it’s up to parents to teach the skills to negotiate constructively, and to set limits as needed.

Keep up the good work — you’re doing great!

Talk soon,

Denise R., Empowering Parents Coach
Learn more about 1-on-1 Coaching

“Kids are going to test limits, that’s their job. What parents sometimes forget is that it’s their job to stand firm.” — James Lehman, MSW, creator of The Total Transformation


Denise Rowden is a parent of two teens: an 18-year-old daughter and a 19-year-old son. She has worked in Special Education, Alternative Education and adolescent group homes. She has a BS in Psychology from the University of Southern Maine and is currently working on her Life Coach certification from the International Coach Federation.

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  1. Empowering Parents Coach drowden Report

    This sounds like a very challenging situation. I can only
    imagine how upsetting it must be that your teenage son continues to pee in his
    room.  This behavior is beyond the scope of what we are able to offer
    coaching or suggestions. Behaviors that may involve possible underlying
    physiological issues would be best addressed by your son’s doctor or primary
    care provider. You might also consider contacting the 211 Helpline for
    information on other resources in your community. You can reach the Helpline 24
    hours a day by calling 1-800-273-6222 or by logging onto We appreciate you reaching out to
    Empowering Parents for help with this tough situation. Good luck to you and
    your son moving forward. Take care.



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