Home » Home and Family » Parenting

When An Argument Becomes A Beating!

Dec 29, 2007
Have you ever been in an argument with your teen, and when it was over, you felt completely beaten down? You may have felt weak, tired or anxious. You might even have had physical symptoms of pain, such as a stomachache.

At times like this, the conversation seems more like a boxing match. After only three rounds, you feel like you're about to drop. Then comes round four. Your teen says, "Come on, Mom, you're so old fashioned." At round five it's: "Everyone else is going." Then comes round six: "Angie's mom is so cool. Why can't you be like her?" followed by round seven: "I hate you! I can't wait to get out of here!" That's the knockout punch. The conversation is over.

How do you stop an argument with your teen from spinning out of control? No matter what the issue, it seems that you wind up in the same place, over and over. It's a no-win scenario, leaving both parties near death. No one feels good when the battle is over, even if one party gets his or her way.

I believe there are two points of view that will solve this dilemma. First, both parties have a right to their opinion, and second, both parties have a right to have boundaries. If both of these issues are honored, then the discussion will play out quite differently.

Let's take a closer look at the first point: both parties have a right to their opinion. This perspective requires stepping into the other person's reality and taking a look at the situation from their point of view before reacting. It is trying to develop compassion by understanding what the other person is going through.

Stepping into their teenager's shoes is particularly hard for parents to do because they feel that they know better. And maybe they do. But teens learn from their own experiences, not from what their parents have learned.

This does not mean that teens should be allowed to do whatever they want. It means that they should be allowed to express themselves and to explore the options.

A good strategy for you as a parent is to ask your teen a lot of questions about the issue, request or situation. It helps to understand why your teen is wanting what he or she wants. Then the two of you can look at the pros and cons of the choices. What this approach does is to turn a potential argument into a discussion.

If a battle breaks out anyway and you find yourself in what I call a "spinning class" -- going nowhere fast -- and your teen is throwing one punch after another, it's time to move into "setting boundaries." It's time to stop engaging. Set a boundary and do not discuss the topic anymore. Change the subject, ignore the comments and walk away.

It's hard to simply walk away when someone is yelling mean things at you. But if there is no one to engage in an argument, the battle stops. First, you must be calm. Then set the boundary. You might say, "I am not going to discuss this with you anymore. This is what it is, and the discussion is over." Then do not discuss it anymore, do not justify your position. When you get into explaining your decision, you open it back up for discussion. Parents tend to want to justify themselves because they don't want to feel bad about their teen not liking them. You have to be okay with your teen not always liking you.

So first put yourselves in your teen's shoes to truly understand his or her point of view and so that your teen will feel heard. If the conversation still goes sour, set a boundary. Your teen will more willing adhere to your rules after feeling heard. Although your relationship with your teen might get worse before it gets better, eventually it will shift. And when it does, it will be a win-win situation. You just have to be the first one to get out of the ring.
About the Author
For 15 years, Debra Beck has mentored teenage girls, doing workshops with Girl Power, as well as creating and facilitating Spirited Youth. She drew upon her own life experiences for her book, My Feet Aren't Ugly. Visit My Feet Aren't Ugly
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 128
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources