Tips for Dealing with Conflict

Be Prepared!  

” Fools dive in where Angels fear to tread”

Never try to deal with conflict when you and your teen are feeling upset or angry. Wait until you feel calm instead. It is always best to be prepared. 

Tips for getting ready to talk

  • Try to think back to how you felt as a young person. This can help you relate to your child.

  • It is useful to know that teenagers cannot always see the big picture in terms of risks or consequences the way we can. Neither can they see life from your perspective. This is not stubbornness or rebellion but science! The decision making  part of their brain has not yet sufficiently developed, and therefore some teens rely heavily upon their emotions or instincts instead of common sense.

  • Here is an interesting article on teenage brain development which may help you understand your teenager more.

  • Be prepared to be flexible about little issues, your child might be more willing to listen and discuss more important family issues.

  • Tell yourself not to overreact or lose your self-control. Nothing is achieved by this.

  • Prepare what you’re going to say and think about the words you want to use.

Tips for talking

  • Stay calm, stop what you’re doing, make eye contact, listen, and treat your child with respect.

  • Let your child have her say. Be open to hearing your child’s point of view. When she’s done, you can talk.

  • Be open about your feelings. This can help your child to understand why you want him to do or not to do something. For example, ‘I feel worried about your safety when I don’t know where you are’, or ‘I feel that it’s important for our family to carry on celebrating some of our cultural traditions’.

  • Explain your view simply and briefly, making it clear that your main concern is for your child’s well-being, now and in the future. Teenagers who feel their parents are asking questions because they care are more likely to share the information you need. For example, ‘I need to make sure you’re safe if you’re out at night. It helps if you tell me where you’re going and who you’re with’.

  • If you can, be prepared to negotiate with your teen or compromise.

  • When you compromise, you demonstrate problem solving skills.  For example, your teen might smoke and you hate it. You can’t stop her anyway without following her around all day every day. A compromise would be that they can smoke but not in the house.

  • If you have to say ‘no’, try to be respectful of their feelings.  For example, ‘I understand that you want your nose pierced but you’re 14 and you’ve got a lot of time to think about it. So for now, my answer is no’. have excellent resources on these subjects which can be found here:-

negotiate with your child

problem-solving skills.

REMEMBER ….Don’t react in anger…stay calm …be prepared….listen ( more of that later ) and negotiate…..

Tomorrow we will be looking at dealing with the aftermath that Conflict produces.  Press FOLLOW and you will automatically get updated.

MASH is always happy to hear other opinions on these tricky subjects, so why not join on the conversation. Just add a comment below.

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