Written by: Dr. Liz Matheis and Featured by: PsychologyToday
Yes, you heard me correctly. Path of Least Resistance. I often associate that concept with being conflict-phobic, passive, and trying to keep other people happy. But when I think about the work that I do with parents (in Parent Coaching), I am seeing a parenting approach where parents are afraid of setting limits. Parents are afraid of claiming their position of authority, afraid of setting boundaries, and afraid of creating a hierarchy within the family.
Many families now have an open system where children and parents are on the same level. I know we didn’t grow up with this type of family system. Our parents were in charge, they set rules and we followed them or else, we were "in trouble." Our children don’t have the same healthy fear of us as their parents. They feel like they can negotiate, they can tell us what they want or think and we will change our minds and adjust based on their preferences.
This becomes especially true when we have a child with special needs. We feel the need to make life a little bit easier because of their struggles. But, I argue that this doesn’t help us to build resilient kids. Children, special needs or not, have their strengths and weaknesses, and using the path of least resistance does not serve you or your children in the long run.
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Dr. Liz Matheis
Dr Liz Matheis and her team specialize in assisting children and their families with Anxiety, Autism, AD/HD, Learning Disabilities and Behavioral Struggles