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Posts Tagged ‘anger’

My Kid Seems to Hate Me – Now What? Monday, May 10th, 2010

Ah, the honeymoon days of childhood, when your child thinks that there’s nothing you can’t do and nothing you don’t know. You’re her biggest hero, and all is well with the world.

Then the teenage years arrive.

Now, your kid thinks that you’re dumber than dirt and grew up in the stone age. You can’t do anything right, you don’t know anything about anything, and the soil outside in the garden has more seeming worth in her eyes than you do. What happened, and what do you do now?

As strange as it may seem, you have seen this before. Remember the “terrible twos”, when every suggestion you made was met with a shouted “NO!”? Psychologically, this is pretty much the same thing; your child is exercising her independence of thought. This isn’t a bad thing, but it can be difficult to deal with.

Try and remember that this is a normal, integral part of growing up. At this point in their lives, teens are beginning the process of separating from their parents and family, and developing their own individuality. They’re not rejecting you, even though it appears that way. They’re striking out on the path of finding their own identities. They’re putting the bricks and mortar into the foundation of their “self”.

Even though it appears as though your children are rejecting you, whatever you do, don’t reject them in return. They need to internalize the fact that you love them, and you love the person they’re becoming, even if the growing pains are hard on you as well as them. Deep inside, your teen knows that he or she still needs you. They might die before admitting it aloud, but they know it just the same. Rejecting or abandoning them now will just teach them that they’re unlovable, and they’ll start building walls instead of foundations.

However – if you child gets truly nasty with you, don’t hesitate to correct that bad behavior. Just because they don’t agree with you – and that’s probably a given – they don’t have the right to treat you with disrespect, curse at you, or become antagonistic. Manners are manners, and they’ll need them later in life, just as they will a healthy self-respect. Remember Thumper’s Mom? “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”? Not a bad tenant to teach your child. They’ll thank you for that one later.

Whatever the teenager dishes out, do your best to weather the storms. Stay calm, and hold to the mantra that “this, too, shall pass”. It really will, and you’ll find that your teen has developed into someone you can be proud of.

Conflict is Inevitable Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

image Conflict is InevitableWhat is your immediate response to conflict? Do you wish it didn’t exist or could be eliminated from life completely? Do you always back off and do nothing in a quest for and a belief in ‘anything for a quiet life’?

So if conflict is inevitable what are some of the keys to dealing with it effectively?

  1. Don’t attack the person, rather challenge the behaviour. A young person can cope with you saying they can do better, can turn that C grade into a B grade, that B into an A, but they can’t handle you saying how they’re no good, they’re stupid and they’re a failure. They will begin to believe it for themselves and fall into the classic self-fulfilling prophecies.
  2. Stick to the issue that is current. Don’t drag into the argument all the other times when you have felt let down.
  3. Remember the power of the tongue. The Bible likens it to the power of a rudder to steer a ship – a small thing but with huge impact. Your words could affect their lives [sounds dramatic but its true]
  4. Remember the power of sorry. The silliest statement to come out of Hollywood was, ‘Love means never having to say you’re sorry.’ On the contrary, love means always having to say you’re sorry.
  5. Recognise the ‘inner lawyer’ who always fights your corner. If you have set down family principles, or if there are group rules before the teenage years, these will be working for you during adolescence.
  6. Remember the power of forgiveness. We have all been forgiven at one time or other and know how good it feels to be restored.

Whatever your desires, unfortunately it is not good for you or the teenager to avoid conflict at all costs. You may want the quiet life but you could end up doing more harm than good. The consequences could be more negative and far reaching than dealing with the issue:

  • It may stop the relationship from deepening and developing.
  • It may stop them from facing problems and dealing with them in an effective way.
  • It may allow them to manipulate us through our giving-in.
  • It may damage your self-esteem as parents, or just as people.

Finally, experts used to talk in terms of “conflict resolution” – finding an end to conflict. They have changed their vocabulary to “conflict management” recognising that conflict isn’t about to go away so it is better to learn how to manage it and its effects.

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