Resolving Conflict
Email Header
You Just Don't Understand Me!
February 2023

Raising any adolescent is a lesson in understanding, negotiating, and patience. This is a time of development and change for your teen where they are looking for a purpose, a sense of identity, self-worth and direction for their future.
While this process of self-discovery is necessary for teens, it can also be a time when the parent / teen relationship can become tumultuous.

Young people are also in the challenging process of navigating their social world.  Friendships, dating, feeling connected and having a sense of belonging are a priority and important for positive wellbeing. 

In this Snapshot we will share strategies to help you and your teen navigate some of the family and relationship conflicts that occur in adolescence.
You Don't Understand Me: Why Teens Fight with Parents
Growing up is a tough business. Teens are faced with creating an entirely new self-identity. They are trying to become a separate person from the very people who have controlled almost every aspect of their lives so far. A teen's own uncertainty about who they are, coupled with their need to establish a sense of identity separate from their parents is one of the common causes of arguments between teens and parents.
While quarrels appear to be about curfews, homework and housework a teenager's underlying need is their parent's acknowledgement of their maturity, capability, and human value, separate from parents.

"No, you can't go out tonight"  to a teen implies that a parent doesn't trust them to make their own decisions. And in a teen's eyes, that's not only unfair; it's humiliating. A parent asks a checking-up question, and the teen feels like a little child again. "Have you got your keys?" is loaded with the implication, "You're not able to look after yourself."
Teens get so heated in arguments with parents because so much is at stake. They are fighting to change their relationship with the parent, to make them see their emerging identity, and that they are not the child the parent thinks they know. If parents could see their teenager through this lens, it would be a powerful ally in aiding their relationship with their child.
Encouraging Your Teen's Independence
In order for your teen to mature into an adult they are hardwired to push for independence — even if they aren’t ready for it. The struggle for a parent however, is being able to relinquish some control while still enforcing strong, healthy boundaries. Following are a few suggestions on how to do that:
Allow them to determine their appearance. This area of their life is essential to finding out who they are.  Adolescents use their appearance to explore parts of their identity that they're still discovering, it's important to give them the room to experiment. There may be times when you both need to agree on what is appropriate.
Give them some areas in their lives where they are completely in control. Think about the issues you feel confident they are ready to take on. Commit to accepting their decisions, even if you don’t agree with them. This could be getting to and from school on their own, taking public transport, or being in control of their bedrooms. 
Involve your teen in big decisions that affect their lives. Examples may include: the subjects they take at school, getting a part-time job, curfews, and rules for using devices etc. If they are involved in making these decisions they are more likely to honour...

Don't Be Afraid to Be Disliked. One of the biggest responsibilities of parenthood is helping to mold your teen into a responsible, caring adult. Your teen may not always agree with your decisions, and they may not always like you. But in the end, if you embrace your role as the parent, they will respect you for making the tough calls and keeping them safe.
Teen Dating and Violence
Sadly, roughly 1 in 10 teens report being physically hurt by a date. Even more teens are the victims of subtler types of emotional abuse. Dating abuse is a pattern of destructive behaviors used to exert power and control over a dating partner. Dating violence usually involves a series of abusive behaviors over a course of time. 
However that doesn‘t mean the first instance of abuse is not dating violence. Dating violence can happen to anyone, regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation or background. 
Dating violence can be:
  • Physical: hitting, slapping, choking, kicking
  • Verbal: putting you down; embarrassing you in public; threatening you in any way; telling you what to do or what to wear
  • Sexual: pressuring or forcing you to do anything sexual, including sexting; restricting access to birth control
  • Financial: taking your money; preventing you from working
  • Digital: sending threats via social media;  stalking or humiliating you on social media; logging into your social media accounts without permission; forcing you to share passwords
Signs that your teen may be in an abusive relationship:
  • New problems with school attendance 
  • Lack of interest in extracurricular activities
  • Sudden request for a change in schedule
  • Changes in grades /quality of schoolwork 
  •  Change in weight or physical appearance
  • Little social contact with anyone but their dating partner
  • Unexplained bruises or injuries
  • Making excuses or apologizing for their dating partner‘s inappropriate behavior
  • New disciplinary problems at school, such as bullying other students or acting out
Warning Signs of Abuse
Because relationships exist on a spectrum, it can be hard to tell when a behavior crosses the line from healthy to unhealthy or even abusive. In the early stages of an abusive relationship, your teen may not think the...

For more information on teens and relationship visit the September 2022 Snapshot Relationships, Consent and Sexting
February School Poster

Pink Shirt Day February 22, 2023

The goal of Pink Shirt Day is to create a more kind, inclusive world.

This poster speaks to the importance of being kind to ourselves. Kindness to ourselves is kindness to others. As our own well-being increases, we are more able and likely to be patient, supportive, forgiving, and loving. To take care of others, we have to take care of our self; otherwise we start running on empty. As we grow in happiness and inner strength we have more to offer to others.

We Want to Hear from You!
Do you enjoy the monthly Snapshots? 

Do you have suggestions on how to improve the Snapshots?

Do you have ideas for future topics?

Let us know!
We would love to hear from you!

The content provided through the Snapshots is for information purposes only. The Snapshots include information that is general in nature and cannot address the many individual child rearing challenges parents and caregivers may experience. Therefore it is the readers‘ responsibility to determine the suitability of the information for their specific needs.

Resources and Sources
Resolving Parent Teen Conflicts
How to Allow Independence and Still Keep Your Teen Close
How Much Freedom Should a Teen Have?
Learning About Helping Your Young Teen Deal With Conflict
Teens and Parents in Conflict
Balance Trust and Freedom with Your Teen
Kids Health
Love is Respect

Books to help you parent a teen
  • How to Talk so Teens Will Listen and Listen so Teens will talk by Adel Faber and Elaine Mazlish
  • Yes your Teen is Crazy!  Loving your Kid without Losing your Mind by Michael J. Bradley
  • Parenting your Teen -  A Relationship Training Manual by David Unger
  • A Survival Guide to Parenting Teens by Joani Geltman
  • Parenting Teens with Love and Logic by Jim Fay
In cased you missed it... last month's Snapshot was on teen anxiety and depression

Archived Snapshots
Full Image