Family collaboration isn’t an oxymoron, it’s all in your approach.
By: Teen Coach, Melanie Black
“I’m the boss!” “Because I said so” “I’m the parent!”
Did you hear these statements as a kid? Maybe as a parent you have used them yourself when speaking to your teen. Usually, these words are said because the parent wants the child to do something and they are not complying. The parent-teen relationship should not be a power struggle. This can result in both parent and teen using various control or manipulation tactics. This will only put more strain on the relationship and cause everyone in the family stress.
So what’s the solution?
Collaboration between parent and teen is essential in this situation.
If your teen doesn’t understand why you are asking them to perform a specific task, then they get frustrated and don’t comply. Which, in turn, is why you, the parent, develop high blood pressure.
Parents want their kids to grow up and have the life skills to succeed and be happy. One of the best ways to ensure that our kids have these life skills to is to model them. The way we behave in a relationship with our kids will determine how they act in relationships later in life.
A study from the University of Virginia looked at the negative effects that controlling parents had on teens’ future relationships. The study found that teens with controlling parents have a harder time handling disagreements when they’re older. Additionally, the results implied that if parents explain their reasoning behind rules and what they ask of teens, disagreements can become conversations. And these conversations help prepare teens to handle future conflict.
Collaboration happens when parents explain why they’re making decisions and get their teens involved in the decision making process. As a result kids will understand why you said “no.” It’s not because you are the authority figure. Your child may not like that you say no, but the goal is not for them to like your response. The goal is to set boundaries in a way that fosters a relationship built on trust and respect. When parents give explanations for their decisions, they allow their children the opportunity to develop their own reasoning, critical, and independent thinking. All are great life skills for the future!
We are all on the same team! Families need to work together. This type of collaboration with your teen increases their sense of responsibility and ownership within the family. “Teams on which once has a greater sense of ownership and stock in that team are likely to feel a greater connection to the whole. “ What are Teens Thinking – Teen Conflict and Argument from the Teen Perspective by Chris A. Buzzetta, Ph.D.