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23 Apr

Parenting Teenagers

Posted in Uncategorized on 23.04.10 by Merlyn

I was talking with a group of parents last night. They all have young teenagers and we were talking about how to ‘survive the teenage years’. One of the issues that came up was how to handle the subject of personal space. What do you do when your teenager says that their room is their own space and you cannot go into, even as a parent?

There were a couple of very good ideas. one was to agree to this, but, take all electronic equipment out of the rooms into the shared part of the house. A parent who has done this has found that the kids spend more time in the family space and less time in their bedrooms.

It can be hard when our teenagers start throwing phrases at us like ” It’s my right”. As a mediator, this is something I would class as ‘positional’ thinking and it is good to open up a conversation about what that actually means. Ask a question likeĀ  ” I would like to understand what you mean by that. Can you tell me more?” . Another interesting conversation is to ask them what responsibilities do they see going with those rights?

There is also the question of your own rights as parents. The important thing is to get to discuss both your ‘needs and interests’. These can be things like the genuine need for your teenager to have some privacy but your own need to keep them safe and connected to the family. Finding ways to talk about these things will help you get to a better solution for both of you.

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