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What do you think of this statement

I have had several people tell me that I needed to "pick my battles" when it comes to raising my kids. Now I understand that as a parent there is a point of being too strict. I think I have reasonable expectations of my kids. But why is it I have to pick my battles, rather than my children learning to respect me?


Asked by teamquinn at 8:42 PM on Oct. 5, 2009 in General Parenting

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Answers (20)
  • Those both sound like reasonable battles to pick to me! Other parents can say whatever they want, but you don't have to agree. Some parents pick NO battles and raise some pretty useless children.

    Answer by LoveMyDog at 10:06 AM on Oct. 6, 2009

  • i agree with it, when it comes to certain things. like what shirt she wants to wear, or if she has the blue cup or the pink cup. really whats the point in wasting my time arguing over something simple like that? theres not other than asserting that i'm always right, and well i'm not. so if she has certain things she likes that aren't harmful and don't break rules. if she wants it and is nice about it, she can have it.

    Answer by vabchmommy at 8:51 PM on Oct. 5, 2009

  • One doesn't necessarily have to do with the other.

    Picking your know his favorite cup is the blue one. You know he'll get upset if you give the red you put the red one back and get the blue one out. Why make a battle, upset him, when you don't really have to. Is it that important that he drink from the red cup you first grabbed?

    I think that's more what it means.....

    Answer by TiccledBlue at 8:51 PM on Oct. 5, 2009

  • Picking your battles and your children respecting you have nothing to do with one another. When someone says 'pick your battles' it doesn't mean to let your children just do things you absolutely don't approve of. Battles with kids esp tweens and teens can become wars. They are exhaudting and senseless. For me an example of picking my battles was my sons room. As long as there was no food in their room, there was no stink and the mess wasn't spilling out the door I let them keep their room how they wanted it. At the same time no mess was allowed anywhere else in my home. To keep their room untouched by me they had to do their own laundry and everyday have clean unwrinkled clothes on. In other words they couldn't throw the clothes in a pile and just grab something to put on that looked like garbage. Somethings are not worth the fight. On the other hand you miss curfew in my house and you're a very unhappy camper.

    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 8:53 PM on Oct. 5, 2009

  • Or the saying" is it worth fighting over". I do not really know if "pick your battles" is a good saying for kids. And it depends on how old they are too. That saying might be good for teenagers. Like for instance, teens and their messy rooms. Not worth fighting over. Or "pick your battle" saying.


    Answer by louise2 at 8:56 PM on Oct. 5, 2009

  • I agree with a lot things the other posters said. I only want to add that if you are perceived at saying "no" to everything or arguing everything, you may loose credibility. You run the risk of coming across as unreasonable and irrational. If you want your words to be respected then you have to make them matter. Why sweat the little things if it means that you won't be taken seriously on the big stuff?

    Answer by beckcorc at 8:59 PM on Oct. 5, 2009

  • Pick your battles.
    Is it worth fighting over?
    Don't sweat the small stuff.

    All pretty much the same meanings.

    Answer by TiccledBlue at 9:04 PM on Oct. 5, 2009

  • I pick my battles everyday and my son still respects me. He is 13 years old. Learn to ignore the small things...his clothes don't match, his room is messy, his hair is longer than you would like. If you fight everything your child does, your child will not respect you because you are not giving them the opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them, to think for themselves. I learned that somethings are just not worth fighting over. I want my son to be able to think for himself, make his own decisions and learn from his mistakes. I am here to guide him and take care of the bigger issues. We keep the lines of communication open and that helps a lot. We talk over my decisions on bigger issues and I explain why I want him to do things a certain way. As long as I explain the reasons he is ok. I don't budge on education, safety and illegal activities. Others, I go with the flow and it has worked so far.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 9:27 PM on Oct. 5, 2009

  • i'm with you, kids listening and respecting you is important. i hope that whoever says 'pick your battles' doesn't mean that they tell their kids to do something, and then when it becomes a fight because their child doesn't listen then they back down and decide it's not worth fighting over... because that's teaching your child to disobey you.

    Answer by MamaCatCat at 9:33 PM on Oct. 5, 2009

  • I've been told this many times also.  By people who don't know me, lol.  What it means to me is to not stress out about small things.  My children do what they are told, eat well, are all around great kids.  So when they want to splash each other with water, run around the house screaming, I smile and move on rather than tell them to stop.  I'm not sure what it means to anyone else, but thats how I take it, lol.


    Answer by Katrina3016 at 9:37 PM on Oct. 5, 2009