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