Even within families who get along well most of the time, there can be occasional disagreements. In your relationship with your teenager, it is important to be open to hearing their point of view. Here are some helpful guidelines:
STAY ON TOPIC
First, it is essential to really listen while your teen is talking, instead of formulating your response in your head. Also, try to stick to topic you are discussing and not jump around by bringing up past hurts or misunderstandings.
AVOID AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR
The foundation of any respectful argument involves avoiding: raising your voice, swearing, name-calling, or pointing your finger in their face. You never want to use threats or taunts, which will only escalate the tension between you. A healthy relationship is based on honesty and trust, so you also don’t want to exaggerate to make a point.
SAFETY PHRASE OR GESTURE
You should never be placed in a position where you fear an argument could get physical. Laying a hand on anyone in anger is not okay. Therefore, it is wise to agree upon a safety phrase or gesture that indicates it might be helpful to take a “time out” from an argument, which has gotten too heated.
BE WILLING TO APOLOGIZE
You become a role model for your teen by being willing to apologize if you realize you are wrong. Remember, you are teaching your teen that it’s easier to “hear” and “be heard” when opinions are expressed thoughtfully and respectfully.
Yes, it is possible for you to express your feelings without alienating your teen! The goal is to model to your child that it’s okay to agree to disagree …
*Note: If your teen is struggling, I can help you to discover the cause and remedy it. Help is just a phone call away! Click on the following link for more information. – Sandra Dupont–LA Teen Therapist