Engaging the Opposition

This summer, open up communications with your teen. Set up conflict resolution in a neutral location and avoid attacking. Calmly explain the issue at hand and actively listen to the teen’s response. Keep the message brief to your teen tuning you out and, while it may seem too difficult, it’s important to keep your verbal and physical language relaxed and open. ContemplationMake sure they understand this is a conversation, not a monologue. Opening dialogue is the first step to conflict resolution and allows for long-term solutions. During these discussions, focus on facts and avoid accusations. Ask your teen for suggestions on how to solve the situation and come up with a solution together. Once a solution is agreed on, make sure to reinforce it by pointing it out when the behave appropriately and thanking them.

Challenge: When faced with a conflict this week, take a breath and remember the way you like to be presented with a problem.

Source: Working with Teens: The Oppositional And Defiant Child; A Program Workbook & Practical Strategies for Managing The Angry Aggressive and Impulsive Student Moving From Challenge to Change A Program Handbook, both by James D. Sutton, EdD