Conflict With Your Teen And How To Resolve It

Conflict With Your Teen? Learn How To Resolve It!

Always getting into arguments with your teen and wishing that your relationship was better?

Let’s get real, who hasn’t disagreed with their parents as a teenager! It’s normal to have arguments with your teen as they begin to explore their independence and find their voice. BUT having arguments daily is unhealthy and can be stressful, upsetting, and exhausting for everyone involved!

Last year, I learned about nonviolent communication and the simple technique to help resolve issues without blaming, shaming, threatening, or guilting people.

The 4 step technique:

#1 State the observation without evaluation

Only state the event that led to you wanting to talk with your teen. For example, imagine having this phone conversation with your teen:

 “It’s 1 am and I see you’re not home yet”

Do not judge or evaluate the event!

“It’s 1 am and you’re late again for curfew!”

 

#2 State the feeling that the observation trigger

Say how the observation makes you feel:

“It’s 1 am and I see you’re not home yet (observation). This makes me worry (feeling)

 

#3 State the need that is the cause of the feeling

Explain what you need so that you won’t experience the feeling the observation gives you.

“It’s 1 am and I see you’re not home yet (observation). This makes me worry (feeling) because I need to know you’re safe (need).

 

#4 Make a request for action to meet the need

Ask your teen clearly and directly what you need from them. Don’t make it a demand, allow them to be able to say “yes” or “no” and give alternative suggestions to resolve the issue.

“It’s 1 am and I see you’re not home yet (observation). This makes me worry (feeling) because I need to know you’re safe (need). Can you please call me if it’s past midnight so that I know you’re safe? (action request)

 

Lost for words? Check out this feeling list and needs list!

 

Want to learn more? Here are some other great resources!

http://www.wikihow.com/Practice-Nonviolent-Communication

https://www.cnvc.org

 

     Meet Julia Smith

Julia Smith, MEd, RCT-C, CCC, is a mental health counsellor in downtown Halifax. She helps kids, teens, and young adults who are struggling with anxiety, stress, and depression. Click here to learn more about her downtown Halifax counsellor practice!

Insight Mental Health Counselling