Parenting Tips

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Bonding with your teen

Teens are at an age into adulthood and expect their parents to treat them like one. Parents, on the other hand, would still want to exert certain degree of discipline when they sense that something is amiss. When reasoning and punishment fail, they would then exercise their authority, i.e. Don't argue, just obey.

Hence, bonding is very important. Below are some tips to conflict resolution.


Conflict is a part of every close human relationship. When resolved respectfully, conflict is actually healthy because it promotes communication and yields solutions, which work for everyone. Working at resolving conflict also communicates to your teenagers that you take them seriously and respect their feelings and opinions.

Conflict involves 2 important dimensions: FEELINGS and CONTENT or the issue causing the conflict. Successful resolution fosters a ventilating of the feelings and a discussion of the issue.

The following suggestions will help you to “fight fair” as you work through conflict with your teenagers:

Rules for Fighting Fair:

  • Realize that your teenagers are no longer children and therefore they are capable of reasoning in a more adult way. So, start by stating your belief that together you and your teen can resolve any challenge.

  • Ask non-blaming questions to clarify the issue. An important step is spending time in naming or identifying the real issue.

  • Listen to your teen’s point of view and realize that we all see things differently.

  • Share your feelings honestly about the issue and encourage your teens to express their feelings but watch for “fouls”.

  • Stick to the issue. Do not dredge up past hurts or problems.

  • When you have been wrong, admit it. Ask for forgiveness.

  • Be willing to explore compromises. Avoid a win-lose resolution, which creates negative feelings and really does not create an effective resolution.

  • DO NOT give up until you have come to some resolution.

Fouls that block the process (MUST AVOID)

· Name calling
· Blaming
· Physical violence
· Yelling
· Threatening
· Obscenities
· Rolling eyes
· Insults
· Using the “Silent Treatment”


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