It’s not uncommon for conflict to arise with your teen. Perhaps it’s between you and them, perhaps it’s between your teen and another family member or maybe they are in conflict with a friend. Regardless of the situation, there are some tactics you can try or encourage your teen to use to resolve conflict next time it comes up.
Don’t Be Afraid to Face Conflict (In a Respectful Way)
Unfortunately, leaving conflict to fester can often make it worse. Instead, choose to address conflict in a respectful way with those involved. In addition to pinpointing the issue, this can help you to learn more about yourself or the other person, and it can strengthen your bond, leading to a healthier relationship.
Separate the Facts from the Emotions
We all have different perspectives. While this has the benefit of adding to our unique personalities and stories, it can create a bit of difficulty when dealing with conflict. Try to separate the actual facts of the situation from the emotions first. Then, when you address the disagreement, you can point to practical events and use “I feel” statements to describe how they affected you.
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Learn What’s Actually Personal
Similar to learning the facts about what took place, it can also be helpful to learn to separate the issue at hand from a person’s feelings and issues that need to be resolved. When your teen shouted at you, was it because they were having a bad day and you happened to be the closest outlet? Or was it because there was a previous action of yours that needs to be adjusted? While shouting is never a positive reaction, getting to the root cause of it can help resolve the tension later on.
Define the Need
Now that you have worked to understand the situation, the context and the feelings associated with it, it’s time for both parties to figure out how they can move forward. Perhaps talking about it was all that was necessary. Perhaps a heartfelt apology or tangible actions are expected. Learn how to recognize what it is you need after a conflict, how to forgive the other person and also how to take others’ needs into consideration. By doing so, steps can be taken towards resolution and the relationship can be mended.
Keep this advice in mind the next time you feel like arguing with a friend or loved one. With a little mindfulness and a lot of patience, you can make ensure that your relationships stay healthy and happy whenever conflict arises.
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