True Authority or False Authority?

By: Dr. Marta

As a child, I loved to read.  I would become so deeply engrossed in a book, my parents often had to call me several times to come to the dinner table.  As their voices escalated, I became increasingly resistant to their demands.  By the time I arrived at the table, everyone felt in a bad mood.

Parents ask the age-old question, “How do I get my child to cooperate?”  They feel exasperated as their seemingly simple requests deteriorate into power struggles.

To avoid these power struggles, it helps to understand that children have a fundamental need for attachment and connection to their caregivers.  If your child feels alienated from you, when you tell her to do something, she naturally resists.  Since she doesn’t have words to let you know about her need for connection, she communicates through her resistant behavior.

Communication deteriorates because parents don’t know how to relate from true authority.  You exhibit false authority when you try to hide feelings of anxiety that your child will resist.  Your demands mask your underlying insecurity, and your child picks up on that. You don’t seem fully in charge, which adds to his sense of separation from you.

Have you noticed the times when your child does cooperate with your requests?  It usually happens shortly after you have had a satisfying, connective interaction.  Try an experiment: observe the correlation between your degree of connection with him and his cooperative or uncooperative behavior.  When you relate from connection, you have shifted into true authority.

When you yell and try to force another human being to do your bidding, you lose connection with yourself, with the Consciousness of your Being.  You have believed the lie the ego feeds you – that force develops compliance in your child.  In reality, it creates a gulf of non-compliance and results in a huge tug-of-war.

Dropping your end of the rope paves the way for you to move into true authority.  It opens the door to find ways to join with your child.  My parents didn’t need to yell from the kitchen and attempt to yank me abruptly from my book.  If one of them had sat beside me on the couch and asked, “What part are you reading now?” or “What is the book about?” they would have created a bond between us out of true authority.  After a minute of conversation, I would have met “It’s time to come to the table now” with a cheerful “Okay.”

Develop a sense of gratitude for your child’s non-compliance. In her refusal to cooperate, she mirrors to you your unconsciousness.  Her resistance extends to you an invitation to relate from a higher level of consciousness.

Therein lies the gift.

Dr. Marta practices as a Life Coach in Communication & Spiritual Consciousness.  She coaches individuals, couples and parents to become more awake and aware.  Her book, Why Wallow When You Can Soar? is available at To contact her, call 928-451-9482 or email

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