Conflict with Teens… Averted
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Many people have a children in their lives. Whether they are a toddler, a child, pre-teen, or are on their way to adulthood, youth are everywhere! And as scary as it may sound to some, the existence of people is inevitable in this world, as is the existence of young people.
Have you ever sparked conflict with a young person? They’re quite easy to start – it can start off with a miscommunication, a bad word, a mean look. But what many people don’t realize, is the small things you can do to help build a better relationship with a young person. My second book ‘Shush, You!’ focuses on this fact in greater depth – the array of stories from people who have contact with youth in today’s world through different environments – whether it’s family at home, family living outside of home, in the workplace, at school…and all these stories are bound by the quick 5 minute tips I’ve observed that can help make a great relationship.
I won’t go into detail of these 5 minute tips – there are so many of them, but I’d like to share three specifics that can be applied to a number of small things you can do to get a young person on side right now, today, tomorrow, and in future.
When a conflict arises, and dare I say that whether it’s with your own kids or not, there is a sure three step process of how you can work towards resolving it, with the end product being a healthy relationship based on common understanding and communication.
My first book is called ‘You Shut Up!’. Without having to remind you that this is a common term many families hear in their household when kids are starting to turn into teenagers, there is, yet another side to reason behind the title. And that is that everyone wants to be heard. As a teenagers, we want to be heard, and whatever you say before we have a chance to speak out will be lost. So ask them for their side of the story first – over time, this will help them realize that sometimes it’s important to hear the other person out.
2. Show Your Side
While they’re speaking, pick up on some of their points so that like in a good debate, you will be able to answer their issues. Start with telling your side, and then ease into some of the issues they’ve raised. You will be showing them that you’re giving your side of the story, but also acknowledging what they have raised. Also remember to use the same language – if they say ‘Well you never talk to me’, don’t say ‘I always communicate with you’ – the meaning is the same, but it will have more effect if you use the same language and come back with ‘I always talk to you’, or similar. Plus, if they hear you using ‘big’ words that weren’t part of their issue, they will discard the entire sentence all together.
A good conflict resolution technique is to end in compromise. Although this may not always 100% benefit everyone, it doesn’t un-benefit either side. After hearing both sides to the conflict, and deciding that you both want to resolve it, without any ego getting in the way, compromise! Let’s say it’s a matter of curfew – you have set a rule of 10pm and your teen wants it to change until 2am. Try to find a middle ground and then set some extra rules in place as your previous rule of 10pm is being compromised. How about you compromise and set the new curfew at midnight, but the extra rules will be that they have to TXT or call you at 10pm to let you know they’re OK. If this doesn’t happen, take it back to the drawing board, and address their lack of communication at 10pm. The moral is that there is always a way to compromise – you just need to find it amongst the issues from both sides.
Trust Your Future!