At your wit’s end with the endless string of arguments from your teen? Chores, friends, grades… you name it, there is an argument there waiting to happen.
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I don’t have teens. But I have toddlers and they are like mini-teens. Even when there is absolutely no reason to disagree with me or complain, they do. All three of them do. So I found a recent study to be very relevant to me, even though I’m about a decade away from the worst of teen behavior in my home.
Researchers from the University of Virginia published the results of a study that took several years to complete in the journal Child Development. In it, the researchers found that teenagers who “talked back” or argued often with their parents actually fared better in life outside the home. These kids were more likely to succeed in school, say “no” to peer presssure and deal with social situations later in life with much more confidence.
Now this study is not meant to tell parents to let teens screaming fests win out. Ever. The expert psychiatrists associated with the study say that parents should allow some room for discussion and debate though, especially when it comes to issues of teens attempting to earn some independence from their parents.
Instead of always saying “No” or “Because I said so, that’s why,” parents should say “Okay, let’s talk about this.” By teaching teens to express their views in a calm, even manner, parents are actually teaching an important set of life skills that will come into play in college, the workplace and later relationships.
Makes sense to me. But, parents of teenagers, how feasible is this to actually put into practice? Does the idea of calm, rationale discussion really fit the conversation when talking about teens?
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