Parent & Teen Conflict
Adolescence is a time when children are exploring indepedence and trying to make decisions for themselves. They are also often experiencing the emotional confusion that accompanies the changes of their bodies brought on by puberty.
Teenage behaviour can be challenging for many parents. Learning to accept, though not necessarily condone, typical teenage behaviour is one of the biggest challenges in bringing up teenagers. If a teen is exhibiting aggressive behaviour, parents have to try to keep this behaviour at a manageable level, so that it doesn't escalate into violence or become self-defeating for their teenagers.
Parents can help their teens by establishing what behaviour is or is not acceptable in the home. Decide what you really care about and put your energy into enforcing the rules that are important. As for the rest, ignore what you can reasonably tolerate for the sake of your teen's growth. Otherwise, you will likely find yourself in continual confrontations that may end in a painful rift.
Here are some tips for communicating with your teenager in a positive way:
- Express concerns, but don't condemn
- Keep your messages clear and concise
- Focus on one issue at a time, don't argue with what your teen says
- Focus on your point of view and try not to talk down to your teenager
- Set realistic expectations
- Praise your teen when they are doing something right
- Stay interested in their activities and friends, but try not to pry into their lives
- Try not to dwell on the negative, but look for positive ways to solve a problem
- Show them you love them. Never punish your teen by withholding love.
Sometimes conflict between parents and teens can become so intense that parents call a Children's Aid Society to help mediate the conflict. If the situation between you and your teen is getting out of control, including violence or the threat of violence, you need to get help. Call us at 416-395-1500, for information on where to get help.