How can someone you love so much make you so incredibly angry?
Communication between teens and parents can be difficult, if not impossible, at times. However upset your teen may make you feel, it is vital that you don’t let your anger provoke you into responding destructively.
Here’s how to keep your cool and parent with patience, not fury.
First, you must understand that leaving an argument without resolving it will not keep that same argument from resurfacing later.
If you and your teen are constantly arguing about the same things, maybe the real issue hasn’t been resolved. It is essential to look beyond the argument to the core problem. Does your teen continue to make plans with friends before consulting you? Why does she do this? Is she afraid you will say “no”? Talk it out with your teen and explain to her that your intentions are loving, not spiteful. And try to come to a conclusion on how to deal with similar situations in the future.
Second, accusing and shouting are hurtful and raise one’s defenses.
It is no wonder your teen doesn’t want to hear you out if you yell at her, using name-calling or labeling. It goes the other way, too. No parent wants to cooperate with a teen who curses or insults.
One thing is clear here: Attacking one’s character is a sure-fire way to damage a relationship.
Our words have the ability to cut deeper than a knife. Accusing someone with phrases that begin with “You never” or “You always” can quickly escalate an argument into a full-on war.
Instead, use the phrase “I feel” to start a conversation. For example, “I feel disrespected when you don’t tell me where you’re going after school.”
Third, why do conflicts with teens so quickly escalate into rage? It’s because your teen is trapped on a never-ending emotional roller coaster – complete with corkscrews, loops, historic highs and depressing drops.
In all seriousness, the intensity of your daughter’s emotions causes her to sometimes be a complete brat – but is that acceptable? No. But should you stoop to her level? Absolutely not.
So what’s a parent to do when things are getting heated and your patience is beyond tested? Take a break. Let her huff and puff all the way to her room and let her know that you will continue the discussion later when both of you have calmed down.
This is a great way to model self-control and patience, showing that you can handle her anger and intense emotion but you also have clear boundaries about how that emotion is expressed to you. Stopping before things get intense teaches her that screaming and hurtful words are not acceptable, and that the conflict won’t be resolved until she agrees to peacefully talk through the problem with you – and reach a clear conclusion.
If you or your teen need additional support managing conflict in a healthy way, contact Compass Rose today.
Losing your temper causes a lot of trouble, but staying calm settles arguments. (CEV)