“Treat Me with Respect and Give Me a Say”

Sharing power is the way we influence, learn from, and work with each other in our family relationships. Sharing power with kids helps prepare them to be responsible adults.

As our kids grow older, they develop increased capacity for thinking critically and making responsible decisions, so it’s good for them to have a voice within the family and in other parts of their life.

How we share power changes as kids become older. Sometimes power struggles are part of the process, but they are a normal and healthy aspect of the shifting power dynamic between growing kids and their parents. 

Families grow stronger when they become intentional in how they share power and influence each other.

Actions That Share Power

Search Institute has identified these four actions that share power:

  • Respect me: Take me seriously and treat me fairly
  • Include me: Involve me in decisions that affect me
  • Collaborate: Work with me to solve problems and reach goals
  • Let me lead: Create opportunities for me to take action and lead.

Watch this short video to learn more about sharing power in families:


How Well Are We Sharing Power?

According to Search Institute’s research, more U.S. parents say they respect their children (88%) and include them in decisions (78%), than say they collaborate (52%) or give kids chances to lead (49%).

Take this quiz to see how power is being shared within your family


Learning Ways to Share Power in Your Family


On our Keep Connected website, you’ll find lots of ways to share power in your family. There you can find:


Check out all the free resources on our Keep Connected site. Find more in-depth research on family relationships on Search Institute’s research on families section.

This is part of a five-part series on developmental relationships in families. To read other posts in the series, visit Express Care, Challenge Growth,  Provide Support, and Expand Possibilities.


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