Working with teens for the last 10 years I have heard a lot about how hard it is to get along with parents. (I’ve also heard about dealing with tough teens but that’s another post). The crazy thing is many of the underlying issues are the same. Things obviously look very different now then 100 years ago. Still the way we interact and handle relationships hasn’t changed all that much. If we can realize this it will make it much easier to know what to do.
This post is for the teens but should help parents as well. Reality is seeing the other persons side is often the hardest part of relationships. Understanding what teens may be trying to do will help parents interact more positively too.
The most common complaints or frustrations I hear are about how parent complain about behavior. Sometimes it has to do with parents not listening and others with them not even giving an opportunity for their teen to explain.
If you are a teen here is what you need to do if you find yourself caught in a situation like that with your parent(s).
1. Wait for the right time. This may be difficult depending on how much your parent works or other factors. But it will come. Sometimes you can help make it the right time. Get them their favorite treat, drink, or sit and watch their favorite show with them. The effort you put in will be worth it when the result is a positive conversation.
2. Do things before you are asked. I know this doesn’t sound great because you are still doing what they want. The thing is if you get annoyed because they bug you to mow the lawn or clean your room it is worth it. If you do it before they ask the chore will be done without the annoying argument or fight. You both win. Seriously, when was the last time you argued about something they wanted done and you didn’t end up doing it anyway?
3. Don’t push their buttons. Oh you know what I mean. It is so easy to know how to do this. The fact that you know this emphasizes how close you are to your parents. The thing it doesn’t mean is you are in control. Though you do get a sense of control when using this knowledge ultimately it can cause more problems for you then the sense of power you feel. Instead, realize the reason these buttons exist and try to focus on ways to work with them on that.
4. Don’t let them push yours. Forget what I just said about controlling them because the opposite is true when it is you. They know how to push your buttons too. The difference is you get to decide if you will allow this or not. The reason they push your buttons is because you have allowed buttons to be created that can be pushed. I hope that makes sense. Here is the point, if you don’t have buttons to push you won’t get bothered as easy. With less stress comes more positive attitude.
5. Think ahead. This is likely the hardest one. I know I didn’t do this in high school. The thing is it really is up to you. If you can do this one little thing it will save a lot of time wasted being upset with each other.
I know you can’t keep every argument from happening and not all parents are always reasonable. My hope is that you can use these or maybe a variation of them to help make things just a little better between you and your parents.
What are other ways you can deal with parents in a positive way?