“Conflicts between parents and teens are normal.”
by Kathleen Le Breton, M.S.
“You don’t understand me.” “Stop treating me like I’m a baby.” “I don’t want to spend Thanksgiving at home with you; I want to go skiing with my friends.”
When your teen spouts these types of words at you, it stings! What happened to the days of loving conversations between you and your child? Now, talking to your teen feels like walking on eggshells.
The good news is conflict between you and your teen does not mean something is wrong with your relationship or your parenting skills. It is completely normal, and it does not indicate that either of you is doing something “wrong.”
The not-so-good news is that conflict between parents and their adolescent children is nearly unavoidable. It’s part of your child’s normal development as they make the transition from child to adult. So, the only way out of it, is through it!
But, there are ways to make this time easier for both you and your teen. You can increase your knowledge about the developmental stage your teen is going through, model positive communications skills so you and your teen can manage disagreements in healthy ways, and recognize the signs if things are going too far.
Understand that conflict with your child during the teen years is a healthy part of young peoples’ transition towards independence and competence as an adult. There are great resources available that explain the details about adolescence.
Building and maintaining positive, open and honest communication with your child is important throughout their lifetimes. But, during the teen years when disagreements are likely, it is more valuable than ever to ensure that you and your child can talk things out in a health way.
Conflicts between parents and teens are normal. But, there are situations that may require intervention from a doctor, mental health provider or treatment program.
Remember, if you believe your teen is in trouble, you are not alone! Never hesitate to reach out and ask for help from your doctor, mental health professional, or your child’s school.
Parenting teens can be tough! Want to share with others who know what you are going through? Connect with other parents on the Share Wall on the CFGC app.