Conflict in families can become more pronounced as children transition into adolescence, as teens crave independence and don’t necessarily want to run to their parents with every problem they are facing. What may have started off as an innocuous conversation about a homework assignment or an outfit choice can quickly turn into a heated argument, leaving all family members hurt and confused.
While some conflict during the teen years is healthy and normal, it can be stressful when it feels like constant conflicts are getting out of hand. There are many conflict management strategies that you and your teen can use to help solve problems together.
Ways Teens and Families Can Work Together to Resolve Conflict
Finding appropriate ways to work together as a family to resolve conflict can strengthen your relationship with your child as well as reduce family stress levels. Learning how to healthily manage conflict can also help your teen develop key relationship skills they will need as they transition into adulthood.
To set yourself up for success in working together with your teen, it can be helpful to readjust your mindset and perspective so you can identify the source of the conflict. Before addressing a conflict head-on, try perspective-taking by thinking back to what it was like when you were a teenager. While perspective-taking allows you to relate better to your teen, keep in mind that your teen might not be able to reciprocate as teenage brain development can hinder them from understanding the risks and consequences of a situation.
As you prepare for conversations with your teen, try to remain flexible on the smaller issues; your child will be more willing to listen to the bigger issues if they feels like they are not being criticized at every turn. It’s also important to gauge your own emotions before attempting to engage in conversation. If you are angry or upset that is likely to come across in your discussion and could result in further hurt feelings.
During conflict resolution conversations, eliminate all distractions and create an environment where both parties can truly listen to what the other is saying. Be sure to allow space for your teen to speak and share their perspective so they knows that their voice and stance on the issue matters as well. To effectively communicate your feelings, let their know why you want their to do or not do something. For example, “I feel worried about your safety when I don’t know where you are”. Conveying that your main concern is for their well-being will let their know that you care about their and what happens to her.
After both sides have shared their perspectives, be prepared to negotiate and arrive at a compromise. Compromising teaches teens important problem-solving skills and allows them to feel like they have truly been part of the resolution process. If despite your best efforts, conflicts persist, you could consider alternative options like Solstice RTC.
Solstice RTC Can Help
Solstice RTC is a leading residential treatment program for young girls and assigned female at birth ages 14-17 that has been specifically designed to help families resolve conflicts and strengthen connections. We specialize in helping teens who struggle with anxiety, depression, trauma, and relationships by utilizing a unique blend of therapeutic techniques based on traditional and holistic methods.
Our mission is to support teenage girls and assigned female at birth and their families in creating strong, lasting relationships. The core of our programming focuses on healing damaged relationships and restoring healthy connections within the family system. For more information about how Solstice RTC can help strengthen your family bonds and assist your child with building and maintaining healthy relationships, please call (866) 278-3345.