When a parent-teenager conflict arises, many parents are at a loss for what to do. Some respond to their teen’s anger with more anger, some respond with extreme consequences, some don’t respond at all—each of these can have negative effects, though.
There are certain ways to approach a parent-teenager conflict that have a higher percentage of success than the usual ones, but they tend to take more patience and more restraint.
How to effectively deal with a parent-teenager conflict
Parent-teenager conflict isn’t rare—if you’ve ever raised a teen or are raising one, you know that for sure. In conflicts, which will happen no matter what you do, it’s important to build a trusting, open relationship that involves respect. Respect in an argument is one of the most helpful ways to get through it and have less of them. Tips on how to resolve a parent-teenager conflict include:
- Don’t minimize the issue. One of the go-to things for parents is to say, “You’re too young to understand now” or “One day, this won’t matter.” This will most likely just lead to them lashing out more since you’re essentially telling them that their issues don’t matter. Instead, say things like, “Yes, this makes sense to me.”
- Show genuine interest. If you’ve recently had a fight and are looking for a way to bridge the gap and move forward, show interest in something you know they like. Are they really into old films? Offer an olive branch by asking if they want to go see a movie at the old cinema in town.
- Do not humiliate. When we’re angry, we say things we don’t mean—and that can include trying to humiliate the other. For example, let’s say your daughter failed her math test. Instead of telling her how much of a failure she is, ask her what went wrong. Sit down and just listen to her reasons. Maybe she’s going through a tough time and needs guidance—you won’t get that information by humiliating her.
- Do not just walk away. One mistake is to completely walk away from an argument and never revisit it, at least not without being forced into it. When you leave a conflict unresolved, it will eventually snowball into another conflict, that’s why it’s important to resolve. Studies show that more conflicts arise when the withdrawal method is used.
- Explain your opposition. “Because I said so,” are the famous last words of a parent-teenager conflict. The teen storms to their room and slams the door, never knowing why their parent said no. This is a mistake. Instead, explain your reasoning and if they don’t like it, then they can take the time to come to terms with that. Don’t use hostility, though. If you said no to your daughter going to an unsupervised party, for example, a good explanation would be that you don’t feel comfortable without a parent being in attendance.
Overall, it’s important to come at conflicts with love and support. Stay calm, try to see where your daughter is coming from, and speak from a place of care.
If you believe your daughter may be struggling with a mental health issue, it’s essential to reach out to a professional.
Solstice East is here for your family
Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. We understand the specific needs of troubled girls, which is why our program is centered solely on them. Our girls often grapple with depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, parent-teenager conflict, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us.
We strive to help students develop healthy habits and lead themselves back onto a path of success and happiness through meaningful therapy and a nurturing environment.
For more information about how we help resolve a parent-teenager conflict at Solstice East, please contact us at 828-484-9946.