Awesome Moms

Ways to Regain Parental Power

For those of you visiting me for the first time, welcome! I’m Deborah Ann Davis, award-winning author and Parenting Coach.

The following blog post is an excerpt from my upcoming parenting course. It’s going to be so powerful, and will provide tons of techniques, conversation starters, solutions, and strategies that you’ll be able to use right away. Check out the first excerpt from the course here:

The course will be out sometime in September. I can hardly wait!


Ways to Regain Parental Power

Let’s face it, even with the best-laid plans in place, there are always going to be struggles, clashes and problems. With this in mind, I’ve identified 6 common behavioral patterns that tend to reduce your parental control, plus solutions to help you get back on track.

Here are the scenarios I’m going to cover:

Scenario #1: Regaining Parental Power Lost Through Revisiting Decisions

Scenario #2: Regaining Parental Power Lost Through Trying To Be Your Child’s Best Friend

Scenario #3: Regaining Parental Power Lost Through Collaboration Without Parameters

Scenario #4: Regaining Parental Power Lost Through Power Struggles

Scenario #5: Regaining Parental Power ThroughKeeping Your Cool

Scenario #6: Regaining Parental Power Lost Through Conversation Landmines


Your kids will want to discuss/debate/argue about a decision that doesn’t suit their desires. (My parents called that “nagging.”) If you change your mind the fourth time they bring it up, you are teaching them to bring it up four times so they can get their way. If you hold out until their fifth attempt, then five tries becomes their personal sweet spot.


Solution #1: Establish a family policy BEFORE a conversation about wanting change comes up. 

That policy? 

“As far as changing household rules is concerned, no immediate decisions will be made. ALL follow-up discussions will be held in 24 hours. That will give everyone time to calm down and rethink their positions.”

Remember: Research is your friend! Encourage your kids to research their side of the conflict, and bring you RELIABLE evidence to support their position for the next discussion. (That means no Wikipedia.)

However, just because the conversation will be resumed does NOT mean the decision will be changed. It merely allows your debating darlings to have another conversation about it. 

Listen to their side, and check their sources. Then share your side and your sources. With all the research being shared, you can invite them to have a discussion. Just make sure you remind them that ALL follow-up discussions will be held in 24 hours.

Don’t worry. They’ll get used to this policy if you’re consistent.

What if you’ve told your daughter she can’t attend an unsupervised party, and her anger escalates as you stand firm.

Solution #2:

Say This: “Like I told you before this discussion began, we can revisit this tomorrow if you still want to discuss future parties, but I’ve made my decision about this one. I love you too much to let your anger change my mind. However, you are welcome to do some research and come up with reliable sources that support your point of view. You can share what you find with me tomorrow. I love you, and I hate seeing you upset.”


Adult and child roles get confused when disciplinary resolutions are based on not upsetting the child. 

I get it. You’re exhausted because you have too much on your plate. When your Littles blow up, or your Middles throw you under the bus, or your Teens convince you you’re ruining their life…(Spoiler Alert – you’re not!)…who wouldn’t want a shortcut to a peaceful night?

But, bribing, cajoling, distracting, and caving in only serve to keep momentary peace. Plus, small children never learn how to handle “No” in a graceful and emotionally strong way – a very important skill for functioning well in school.

When the goal is to maintain peace, that path eventually backfires. All it does is teaches Littles that, in order to achieve their goal, they must first launch a tantrum.

Fast forward to Middles and Teens. When the parent doesn’t want to jeopardize their best-friend relationship with their kids, they don’t enforce deadlines and limits in order to stay on their good side. These folks make excuses for their kids’ rude behavior, blaming outside factors, which, of course, teaches their cherub to do the same.

Not only does this direction make it difficult for your kids to function out in the world, but it also doesn’t allow for a peer to fill the best friend role. Your children need to navigate life within their age group. Those lessons are important.


Did you learn something new? Obviously, there is more to this, but I’m saving it for the course. 

I hope you enjoyed the second sneak peek into my upcoming parenting course.  You can read the first sneak peek here:

As always, any and all feedback is welcome. I’d especially like to know what topics you’d like me to cover. We can figure it out together. Email me at

You got this!


Awesome Moms

Positive Relationship Characteristics

Positive Relationship Characteristics

Recently I asked for some ideas for a title for my new parenting course. This week I thought I’d share an excerpt from it, specifically from:

MODULE 6. VIDEO 2: Positive Relationship Characteristics

Provide Unconditional Love. The most powerful characteristic of a positive Parent-Child Relationship is Unconditional Love. That means you love your child – no matter what. More importantly, your child believes that your love is unconditional, that you love them, no matter what, even when 

  • they misbehave
  • or break the rules
  • or get low grades

You even love them when they say they hate you. None of that affects your love for them, no matter what.

Your unconditional love makes your precious children feel safe and secure. It makes them braver, and more willing to explore and take risks. It’s the biggest gift we can give them. Plus, the more we remind them they’re loved unconditionally, the better equipped they are to handle adversity.

Spend Quality Time With Your Kids. All that unconditional love loses its punch if you don’t share time together. 

Quality time, like kids, comes in all shapes and sizes. 

  • It can be the big grand gestures, like a trip to a carnival, or a butterfly farm. 
  • It’s sharing a blanket on the couch while you read. 
  • It’s private time behind a closed door where secrets are shared with parents. 
  • It’s you showing up at the game, or performance, with your cell phone on airplane mode. 
  • It’s that meal you cook together, and that laundry you fold to dancing music, and that fort you construct in the living room. 

It’s the things that become memorable for your kids, and why they love their family culture and traditions. It’s the way you show them they matter without using words.

Keep Your Promises. If you say you’re going to be there, BE THERE. Your absence hurts their hearts. If your outside obligations potentially will interfere, tell your child you probably can’t make it to his recital, and the reason. Then show up if you can, and turn it into a big surprise.

Or, if you can’t make it, watch a recording of it with your child, along with some homemade popcorn, plus your entire focused attention. Even if you’re out of town, you can video chat and watch the performance together. That extra effort will convey how important your child is to you. How you show up will affect how they will show up in the world.

Keep Consistent Rules. EVERYONE lives by a set of rules. The key is to be consistent in enforcing your rules, and be consistent with the consequences when broken. 

It’s vital that our children learn to live by your rules at home. Otherwise, they won’t be able to function properly within the classroom, or out in society when they become adults.

Rules are clear statements about how your family takes care of one another, and how they treat each other. Kids should understand the consequences to their actions before they act. Rules create a stable world for your child. That stability teaches them to trust their expectations about you…and how you’re going to treat them.

Some rules can be negotiated as your kids get older, but some rules absolutely should not be negotiated, ever:

  • Their safety, including driving, dating and curfew
  • Their education, such as homework, scheduling study time for exams… things like that.
  • Their health, like nutrition, alcohol, sex, drugs
  • Anything to do with becoming an adult

I call these the Non-Negotiables. These are the things your kids can’t judge for themselves. Their undeveloped brains can’t see the big picture. Of course you have to revisit these rules from time to time as your kids mature, and adjust them accordingly…but plan for it. Otherwise, you’ll be unprepared when your kids come up with some new request. After all, you don’t want your mouth hanging open when they come begging to go to an unsupervised party.

Make Your Kids Feel Safe. Your kids watch you all the time. They hear your arguments behind closed doors. They see your anxiety as you watch the news. Their young friends feed them a steady diet of their immature view of world events. They privately try to understand what all this input means, and their imagination takes them… who knows where? But wherever that is, it doesn’t feel safe.

You can help them by addressing their anxiety. Sit them down individually, and ask them what they think about the current world situation, or the country’s situation, or the latest news story. If you’re not comfortable about that, ask them what their friends, or teachers, or coaches think about it. Sometimes it’s easier to go in the side door, than to broach a subject head-on.

Then, LISTEN. 

Don’t offer advice. 

Don’t suggest. 

Don’t share. 

Don’t judge. 

Just listen. 

Say things like, “Interesting.”  “Hmmm.” “I understand.” If you want insight as to what may be causing your child’s anxiety, this is a way to do it. 

Then you reassure them. Say something like this…

“Sometimes I hear things that make me worried, but that just lets me know something needs handling. I got this. Your job is to be a kid and grow up strong and happy. I’ll take care of the rest. And, if I don’t know how to take care of something, I’ll find someone who does. You don’t have to worry. I got your back. Even if the next school year is screwy, I’ll figure out how to make it work for you. You and me, we’re a team. I got your back. You don’t have to worry.”

Then, repeat that message every time your child is stressed, or at least once a week. They always need reminders.


I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek into my upcoming parenting course.  Feel free to share this excerpt with other parents. Any and all feedback is welcome. The course should be out sometime this fall.

You got this!


Awesome Moms Walking the Walk

Summer Love of Fairs

In keeping with June’s Fun in the Sun theme, here is a list of fairs in my area. Do a similar search for where you live, and go enjoy the summer with your kids. 

Deborah is at the CT Renaissance Faire in 2015

I fell in love with fairs when I was a small child, and I’ve been going ever since. They’re responsible for my first YA series, Love of Fairs. 

Fairly Certain and Fairly Safe

If you enjoy humorous suspense with a surprise ending, pick up a copy of Fairly Certain, the tale of a computer geek who finds himself in Merry Ol’ England during the Robinhood era. And get a copy of Fairly Safe, a story about what happens when Mistaken Identity collides with Secret Identity when witness protection is blown. 

Grab a fun summer read, and I’ll see you at the fairs.

Buy Fairly Certain: Smashwords, Kindle, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, Kobo, iTunes

Buy Fairly Safe: Smashwords, Kindle, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, Kobo, iTunes