Conflict is Normal

Good news! Conflict with your teenager is normal!!

All parents experience it !

Do you clash with your child more often than you did in the past?

Do you disagree with them over any of the following?

  • what they  wear

  • how they spend their time

  • how  they use social media

  • their appearing to dismiss your cultural or religious traditions

This is pretty normal. As your teen’s thinking and understanding of the world develops, they do actually need to  question and challenge you more.

This is part of their own journey towards independence and being a responsible young adult.

It is a necessary part of their life, not a personal attack on your standards ( although it does often feel  that way ).

So some conflict in relationships is healthy. It shows that you and your child are individuals with your own views.

Conflict can help you to get to know each other as adults and to consider each other’s needs.

However too much conflict isn’t a good thing, so you need

Conflict Management Strategies and Skills.

Don’t avoid conflict as it can….

  •  help to keep stress levels down for the whole family.

  • deepen and strengthen your relationship with your child in the end.

  • help your child learn some important life skills.

But Pick your Battles…..

If you argue over every little thing your words end up being devalued. If you save your words for issues you consider more serious then you are more likely to be heard.

Decide if something is really worth talking about. Take for example

  • Hair colour

  • Piercings

  • Internet Safety

  • Drinking Alcohol

  • Sex

  • Gang Membership

  • Peer Pressure

For each of us parents, different issues will be more important depending on the way we have been brought up.I personally can’t stand tattoos and piercings but when my daughter came home one day with a belly button ring and showed me it in front of her friends I inwardly sighed but outwardly said  ‘Wow. That’s pretty’. I would rather save the ‘big guns’ for something like safety at parties, boys, sex, that sort of thing. You however may be content with your teens outlook on life but get really anxious about outward appearances.

So Remember

Conflict helps us get to know each other………But Pick Your Battles

Also just a thought here…..

Try to make sure that not every conversation with your teen is about difficult issues. Spend some time enjoying each other’s company. Lots of Mums spend hours listening to their teen talking about stuff that is not really that interesting to them but at the end of the day it means a lot to your child.

Press “FOLLOW” and get tomorrow’s “Tips for dealing with Conflict”

At MASH we love to hear your views, so why not post your top tips for dealing with conflict in the comment box below.

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