Parenting Teens is not easy but there are things you can do that make a difference.
How to reduce conflict in your home
There are so many situations where we can end up in conflict with our teens on a daily basis. What else could we do that may help the situation. If what you are doing is not working, you may need to do something different. Remember, a troubled or troubling teen is not trying to make your life difficult, rather they are trying to show you how difficult life is for them. Therefore, put the focus on the ‘Why’ of their behaviour, rather than on the behaviour as when you understand the why and resolve their unmet need, they won’t need their behaviour anymore. so often, uninterrupted active listening is all that is required to find out what is going on for them.
How to manage conflict with your teenagers – Be Calm
Be the change you want to see; so if you want a calmer home, how calm are you? Work on staying calm by counting to ten, leaving the room, using deep abdominal breathing to self- calm and taking care of yourself, so then you can take care of everything and everyone else. I have learnt from my mistakes and find some of the following can really make a difference in enjoying a calmer home and happier teenagers.
Tell them the behaviour you want to see
‘I feel sad when anger takes over; and I need you to use your words instead of actions’. What could you have said when you were angry with your brother; instead of pushing him?
Acknowledge your teen’s feeling:
‘I know you are cross with your brother and that he annoys you sometimes and that is not easy’
Tell him the behaviour that you want to see instead & communicate your values:
‘We treat each other nicely in this family, therefore pushing is not okay, and if you are mad with him, you need to come to me and tell me’
State your expectations:
‘I expect when something happens that makes you cross, that you step back instead of stepping into a fight; to take a minute to calm down and use your breathing to calm down’
‘What could you do to make it better? An apology would be nice?’
Resolve through relationship:
For me this is probably the most powerful way to resolve most issues, that I meet my teen’s behaviour with a little kindness and compassion, and try to help them with their feelings as if they feel right, their behaviour will reflect that. Therefore I separate teenager from behaviour: ‘I love you, but this behaviour is not ok, we need to talk about this when we both calm down, and see what led to that outburst and what you could do different next time. You are a super guy, but that behaviour cannot be allowed’
Positive Parenting works
Catch your teenager being good and tell they what they have done right. Then they will do more of that. The teen years are difficult and so often our focus is on what they have not done, where if we change the focus to noticing all that they have done, they don’t feel discouraged and are more inclined to be more co operative around your needs. A positive atmosphere begins with you reminding them of what they are doing right and how they are loved and you show this by spending time and giving positive attention with them.