Handling Conflicts with Teens Takes Tenacity
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• Be a good role model, even when every button has been pushed.
• Take care of your happiness, and let him take care of his.
• Don’t forget that both of you have equal rights and equal responsibilities toward one another.
If your son says it is your problem, not his, then offer him some suggestions for getting along with you:
• Focus on what he has the power to change.
• Offer some things he can do when he is especially frustrated, like exercise, blog, walk the dog, watch less TV, smile more.
• Accept people for what they are and work with that reality.
• Consider changing his mind.
• Let go of anger.
• Learn to live in the moment and be mindful of his thoughts, and squash negative thinking.
• Pretend, if necessary, to be grateful, compassionate, and kind.
If conflicts do arise, both of you can look at every interaction as an opportunity for:
• Taking the option to change.
• Practicing patience.
• Letting go of your expectations of what others should do, and
• Stop wishing things were other than they are.
There are several ways to think about change in any situation. First, what can the two of you do together? If you are the most motivated, what can you do to deal with your own feelings and responses? If your son is thinking the problems are all your issue, what possibilities can he pursue to cope with things? And, finally, what do you do when you get into a conflict? Handling that tension is a two-way street. It takes two to fight, and no one wins when there is a fight.
If you are worried about his mental health, remember you always have a safety net in Tulsa. See if he would agree to family counseling if he is blaming the family for all the problems. Sometimes issues with adolescents can be very serious. If you ever hear any talk of him harming himself or if he mentions suicide, you can call COPES at 918.744.4800 at any time of the day or night. Make sure you have the support you need as you deal with this stage in life. Good luck!
The Male Brain by Louann Brizendine M.D
Staying Connected To Your Teenager: How To Keep Them Talking To You And How To Hear What They’re Really Saying by Michael Riera
Get Out of My Life, but First Could You Drive Me & Cheryl to the Mall: A Parent’s Guide to the New Teenager, Revised and Updated by Anthony E. Wolf Ph.D