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24 Apr

Parenting Teenagers

Posted in Uncategorized on 24.04.10 by Merlyn

We were sitting at dinner  two nights ago and my daughter asked me if part of becoming a teenager was wanting to disobey your parents. She was finding that she was beginning to feel like this and wasn’t sure what was going on in her head. I said to her that she was on course to be a normal teenager!

Battles over curfew times, clothes, alcohol, money……etc can be a very stressful part of the teenage years for both kids and parents.  Yet, they seem to be part and parcel of this stage of family life. If we think about it, we need our children to develop independent thinking so they can leave home and construct successful adult lives of their own. We need our children to be able to say ‘NO’ and successfully argue their point……….it is just difficult when they are doing it with us over important issues of parenting which we need to do to keep them safe etc.

We know we are going to have different opinions to our teenage children, this is not new or surprising to us. Our focus should be on how we can teach our children (and ourselves) HOW to disagree without it escalating into a full scale row or conflict.So, how do we do that. Here are some ideas:

1. Preempt flash points where you can. Sit down and negotiate curfew times. Talk about why you are concerned about certain clothes when it is possible to have a full conversation.

2. Listen to your child’s views ( it doesn’t mean you need to agree with them) talk calmly about your own points of view. Try and keep cool.

3. When you think you each understand the others way of thinking write down all the options you both can think of that will meet both your needs.

4. See  of you can make one of these ideas work.

This process gives both of you a chance to talk through and understand rather than shout and not understand. You never know what mutually acceptable ideas you may come up with together.

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