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How to de-escalate parent and teenager conflicts - lets stop the yelling

Updated on December 21, 2015
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Parent and teen conflict

Saturday morning you are enjoying a quiet cup of tea and your teen comes charging downstairs yelling "Mummmmmmm." Peace is shattered you take a breath and are greeted by a tsunami of verbiage. The injustice and unfairness of life as it appears to your teen in that moment is ALL YOUR FAULT!

You feel like yelling back or worse - how did you both get here you wonder?

First thing to remember is you are the parent. It is now your job to model the sort of behaviour you want to see in your teen. . Dramatic gestures, yelling back, swearing are not going to help. Setting clear boundaries, not putting up with being sworn at and standing your ground by being clear and concise will.

In the moment, remove yourself from the situation, do not engage in the tirade, be clear and firm stating that "I will be back to discuss this with you when you are calm." Leave. Ignore the gestures and whatever else follows. Leave.

Consider is this a common occurence in your home - do people yell at each other daily, weekly, or just on occasion? What is the yelling about?

In the moment is not the time to address the situation but if the yelling is a daily or weekly occurrence then you will need to address it and create a different coping strategy for how your teen deals with crisis. For, in his or her mind, that is what is happening.

The teen brain is developing - the teen is in survival mode. This episode and behaviour are part of his or her developing coping skills and accepting it, finding better strategies will enhance the quality of life for you, the rest of the family and your teen.

In his documentary "Surviving the teenage Brain" David Suzuki presents up to date research and documented evidence that indicates the "selfish, irrational, reckless, impossible" behaviours that teens are accused of being is in fact essential to their survival.

When you are trying to co-exist and create a safe and peaceful family environment understanding how your teens brain works will go a long way helping you figure out what may reduce the level and number of tyrannical outbursts.

Strategies and tips:

  • Be clear about the rules and values in your home. If you prefer no yelling then do not yell.
  • Be realistic about attitudes and behaviours. You and your teen will have different opinions about what a bedroom should look like. Make the room their responsibility and be clear about what is NOT acceptable - such as food/boyfriends/girlfriends/noise levels.
  • Do not "spring" new rules on the teen. Discuss why you would like changes and what they mean to you. Ask the teen for his or her input.
  • Treat your teen with the same respect you want to be treated with - yes even when they are yelling - you are modelling for them.
  • If your teen does something for which you want to set a consequence be clear about why and what the consequence is. For example, if she yells or swears at you, or does not complete an agreed task and you have promised them something be clear that the consequence is in place until the swearing stops or the task is complete.
  • Always give information about your reasons for making a decision, be consistent in decisions and set clear boundaries.

For more about creating a healthy relationship with your teen go to http://lizam1.hubpages.com/hub/How-to-have-a-great-relationship-with-your-teenager



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    • Thundermama profile image

      Catherine Taylor 5 years ago from Canada

      Lizam1! Wonderful hub,so useful as my girls head towards their early teen years. If I don't want to be yelled at I need not to yell, so simple and yet I needed to see it in print to be reminded. Thank you!

    • Lizam1 profile image
      Author

      Lizam1 5 years ago from Victoria BC

      ...I have to admit I learned it the hard way:-)

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 5 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Thanks for this hub, it is wonderful. I have a 16 year old daughter. She actually is very good. Does not want to drink or party, no cussing. Just every now and then has a tantrum. But, thanks for your advise because when she does have one, she won't stop for a while. She keeps telling us her opinion until I am we are so tired!

    • Lizam1 profile image
      Author

      Lizam1 5 years ago from Victoria BC

      Thanks Michele - I also have two pretty easy going teens - but when it blows- well YOU know!

    • roxanne459 profile image

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      This is wonderful advice and it obviously comes from a loving place. The teen years can be difficult at times for the parent and child. These tools will promote peace and maturity for all. :)

    • Lizam1 profile image
      Author

      Lizam1 5 years ago from Victoria BC

      Thank you Roxanne - peace for all I say:-)

    • Journey * profile image

      Nyesha Pagnou MPH 5 years ago from USA

      I appreciated this hub. Great strategies and tips section.

    • Lizam1 profile image
      Author

      Lizam1 5 years ago from Victoria BC

      Journey, thank you for reading and commenting.

    • twilanelson profile image

      Twila Nelson 4 years ago from Carmichael, California

      Thank you for a bit of support and a lot of information that will help me appreciate my teen's personality and behavior so that we may experience better understanding and peaceful communication.

    • Lizam1 profile image
      Author

      Lizam1 4 years ago from Victoria BC

      You are welcome twilanelson. I have really noticed a difference and even when a day goes "sideways" the more peaceful approach to resolving the problem means we get there quicker.

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