A Dose Of Hope

Power Huggles

As a mother of four sons (born within 7 years) I’ll never forget our first kindergarten teacher who said, “Don’t get into power struggles with your sons.”

“How do you do that?” I asked myself, totally frustrated. Weren’t parents supposed to control their children? How do I maintain control without exerting power?

Years later (Yes! Years later! Of course, those years were rife with chaos and power struggles!) I was asked to be the principle of the school where my youngest son was in third grade. I had a heart to hear with him before school began, “You are to call me Mrs. Coleman at school. Not Mom.”

Of course, the first day at school he ran into my office (to get snack money) and blurted out, “Mom!”

“Mrs. Coleman,” I corrected.


“Miss-us Coleman!!”

He narrowed his eyes, gritted his teeth, “M O M!!!”

I looked down into the eyes of my son who was fighting to keep from losing his mother. I decided then and there that this was not a battle worth fighting. In fact, I realized I could damage my loving relationship with my son in my attempt to establish myself as an authority figure.

In the final analysis, it is not about power struggles, and it’s not about winning and losing. It’s about listening and loving! Giving in can be the strongest stance you can take. Turn a power struggle — with anyone you love — into a power huggle — listening and loving!

“Love is patient, love is kind.” 1 Corinthians 13:4

PRAYER: Help me, Lord, to love freely, open my heart and my ears to hear what others are saying. Open my mind to understand their needs. I ask You to give me the faith to love without fear. Amen.

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