Michael Williams tackles this issue, that I've been meaning to blog about for a while now, head on:
I'm curious about the notion that parents have to "pick their battles" with their children in the sense that they shouldn't try to win every point but focus only on the important issues. This seems like an eminently sensible strategy for dealing with a spouse or other equal, and even more-so a boss or other superior, but is this the best way to deal with a subordinate?Amen, Michael. Read the whole post, and then also read a depressing article from The Washington Post about parental permissiveness and ignorance as to the suggestive T-shirts they allow their teens to wear...
As I'm learning with dogs and dominance challenges, if you expect to lead the pack then it's important to win every single time.
As for me, I've pledged not to "pick my battles" and instead to show my kids that I care about each and every one of the issues and conflicts that come up. Giving in means you show them they, or their concern, is of little importance to you and subsquently neither are they. Show strength, show leadership, and show concern for everything your child brings to you, regardless of your frustration level. It's hard, but ultimately you don't matter - your kids do.