Hello from Montana:
We have had family visiting the last week. Yikes! four teenage cousins, two boys (14 and 13) two girls (both 14). All those hormones and feelings, combined with lots of activities and huge amounts of food, make for an exciting and noisy time.
There was only one major melt down (okay, so it was me and I regretted as soon as it happened.) It was very clear that communications had changed since my kids were kids.
The minute I started yelling and stopped listening, the communication closed down and the walls went up. There are effective ways to say things, and there are ineffective ways to say them. There are ways to build cooperation and there are ways to build tension and resentful feelings and unpleasant memories.
Communications Skills That Can Help You Stop Fighting
We can all learn new skills on sharing feelings respectfully. We can be taught the words to say in classes, articles, books and from others who have learned the hard way.
The problem is that when we are under stress, the old behavior patterns pop up and we start reacting in the same way that did not work before but expecting better outcomes.
It Takes Two to Have a Fight
Fighting, arguing and bickering often have hidden agendas and unmet needs that are way under the surface. Adults who are really interested in improving relationships with the teenagers in their lives should look deeply at the inner motivation for their part in the argument.
When I really searched my heart, it was pretty evident that one of my values is that adults, especially grandparents, should be respected and spoken to with courtesy. When I am dismissed and spoken too in a rude manner, I act as if I had been slapped.
Reason to Keep Fighting
Once you realize the unmet need you have that is causing you to react so strongly, then you have a choice. Is changing your response worth it? Can you force the teenager to respect you? Do you deserve respect when you are yelling and stomping off?
Communication will improve when you decide to stop buying in to your old patterns. An pattern that was learned can be unlearned. It takes time and perhaps some help, but it is possible.
Total Transformation Program can Help
I recommend a program that teaches parents (and grandparents) skills to deal with out of control teenagers and young adults. The young person does not have to stop arguing when you do, but you can choose to stop fighting and refuse to be drawn into an argument.
Please go to http://www.DisciplineYesPunishNo.com to find out more about this program and the advantages of instituting some of the techniques in your family.
In gratitude and love,
Judy H. Wright aka Auntie Artichoke
PS: Be sure to check out all the free articles and videos at http://www.ArtichokePress.com