Are you naturally the bad guy or the pushover?
One of my favorite quotes from the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, author of The Connected Child* and The Connected Parent*, is, “If we give our children nurture when they need structure, we inhibit their growth. And if we give them structure when they need nurture, we inhibit their ability to trust.”
She often taught about the fact that our kids need both high nurture AND high structure from us.Our kids need both high nurture AND high structure from us. Click To Tweet
As we’ve stumbled through almost every imaginable situation with our kids, we’ve found that our kids always do better when we can find the high nurture-high structure response. It’s like this magic space in parenting.
Just yesterday, I was watching our daughter get into a control battle with our granddaughter over eating chili, a meal she had gobbled up the night before.
Our daughter had put structure in place for our granddaughter but it was clear she also needed the nurture to balance it out. I did a couple of things. First, I validated that it was hard to have to do something you didn’t want to. I also offered to bring her close to help her regulate. In her own way, she ended up asking for a compromise. She wanted to eat the water chestnuts out of my Asian veggie soup. I provided structure by getting her to use respectful words and take a bite of chili before she could have a water chestnut. After going back and forth like that for about five bites, she finished the rest of the chili on her own.
I’ll admit it doesn’t always go that smoothly, and it definitely gets trickier as our kids get older, but we’ve never not been able to find that high structure high nurture solution.