Choosing Your Battles Wisely With Your Children

Are you good at choosing your battles wisely with your kids? I have learned over the years that there are some battles worth fighting, while there are others that really, in the grand scheme of things, are not a big deal. Here are a few tips that may help you in determine which behavior is a mountain and which one is a molehill.

choosing your battles wisely

Choosing Your Battles Wisely

When considering which battles are worth the fight, here are a few questions to ask yourself before taking action.

  1. Will the behavior your child is exhibiting hurt themselves or someone else?
  2. Is their behavior unethical?
  3. Are they causing harm to property?
  4. Are you upset only because their behavior / action is something you would not agree with?
  5. Do you want to take action because “people may talk”?

If their behavior is unethical or not moral, then I think you have to go with your instincts. However, if what they are doing is just different but not causing any harm you may have to ride it out. Allowing your child to make their own mistakes and learning by natural consequences is sometimes the best way to learn.

Examples of Molehills VS. Mountains


Does your child procrastinate when it comes to do homework? Being a procrastinator myself, this was one of those lessons I learned the hard way. Some people may say they thrive on doing things last minute, however, most things that you wait on will not be your best work. When waiting to the last minute, work is rushed and can be incomplete.

So this is one of those gray areas for me. Currently Megan is the only one in our household who really has any homework. I do make her do her homework when she gets home from school. However, if there is a battle I usually find that her focus is not on her homework and it will usually be done wrong. Sometimes I allow natural consequences to occur. That is, if she does not turn in the work then she will get a bad grade for that assignment. I wish I could say this was a huge deterrent. However, I know ultimately she is a people pleaser. Even though she may not show it, she does not like to disappoint people. Especially her teacher.

I really want Megan to learn that getting things done right away makes things a lot less stressful. Not having something looming over your head is actually very liberating. However, I also want her to learn that it is her responsibility to do her work as expected of her. On the days she has a lot of homework, I have found breaking it up into smaller sections helps. For instance, she will do all of her math homework and then take a 10-minute break before starting on her spelling. Then take another 10-minute break before moving on to the next assignment.


Hans / Pixabay

Children get to an age when they like to express their individuality. I have always told my husband that if Megan some day went gothic on us, dying her hair black, wearing black with black nail polish I would not love it. However, if that is the worst she does, I could live with it. There are so many “bad” things she could do that are so very dangerous. To me, this would not be the battle I would fight.

Simon / Pixabay

Now also in expressing their individuality, some kids like to wear wrinkled, mismatched clothes. I would also consider this a molehill and let it go. However, I see this as being different than wearing inappropriate clothes, which is more of a mountain for me!

One thing I have heard kids do these days is a clothes switch-a-roo. This is when they leave the house wearing the  appropriate clothes, but bring the inappropriate ones with to change into. Be aware of larger bags your child may be carrying. Again, mountain!

Screen Time

Does your child like a lot of screen time? My daughter loves being on the computer. She literally could spend all. day. long. on it. She plays Minecraft on the computer, and uses this app called Team Speak that allows her to talk to other players who have the same app. There are some girls she has been talking to for at least 6-months. She is always in the same room with me when she is on the computer and on Team Speak, so I monitor everything she does. She is very good with Internet safety. The girls she she has been talking to even Facetime her, which is nice because I have gotten to see and meet them. They truly are the same age as Megan.

Now, I know there is a lot of research that shows screen time is not the best thing for our children. However, I am okay if every once in awhile she gets more than normal. She is not on the computer all week long. Our winters are long and brutal, so being able to de-stress on the computer while talking to friends is a nice change of pace for her. I also now know, from her playing on-line for awhile now, that she is not the only one who spending time online. I do think you have to go with your judgement and know your child. If your child’s behavior starts to change then perhaps they are playing the wrong games or talking to the wrong people. Also, if being on electronics is becoming an addiction then that is something else that you will want to address as well.

Generally speaking, many parents find that it is best if they go with their instincts. If something feels not quite right, it probably isn’t. Remember that there are a lot of resources available to you: other parents, your child’s school, friends, family, and your pediatrician.

About the Author

I am a work from home mom who dearly loves her 15-year-old daughter, 11-year-old boy/girl twins, and husband. I love my life and feel very blessed by what God has provided for me.


  1. Lots of good advice here! Our children are grown up now but we have 2 grandsons so I think I might share this post with our daughter -in -law

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