Adolescence is often known as a rebellious phase of life. Children experience a series of hormonal changes. At the same time, they are looking for their own identity. All of this makes them long for independence. They begin to believe that their parents do not understand them. They also think they can control their own lives. So at this difficult stage in their lives, you need to learn the skills to negotiate with your teen.
Negotiating with your teen will not only reduce headaches. It will also help them feel like they are being treated like adults. This will also encourage them to follow through on the agreements you make. Moreover, it also helps you to talk about the difficult situations that arise and to solve them. But most of all, it will make them feel loved.
Some teens have a tendency to become distant. And because we don’t know how to approach them, they end up feeling very lonely. Because they feel that their parents don’t understand them and they can’t trust them. Negotiating with your teen can therefore greatly improve these conditions.
Negotiating with your teen contributes values
All parents know the importance of transmitting values from an early age. We want to instill healthy values that allow young people to guide their behavior and make the right decisions for themselves. But we don’t always know how to do this properly. Negotiating with your teen is one of them. But what does this course of action teach us and them?
- It improves the handling of emotions. Because negotiating with your teen will give them the opportunity to learn to negotiate as well. They will realize that it is very difficult to come to an agreement when one of the parties involved is dominated by anger, frustration or sadness.
- It creates trust and cohesion. The lack of cohesion in family relationships can cause emotional outbursts in your teen. Negotiating will help all of you to trust each other and be consistent in what you say, think and do.
- It helps to express feelings. To negotiate with your teen, you need to talk honestly. You should express how all members feel and offer possible solutions to a conflict. This will help your teen express his feelings and say what he thinks without assuming that we won’t understand him.
Everyone knows that agreements, boundaries and certain rules are necessary to make living together easier and to help prevent conflicts. We agree rules with our partner, such as not walking on the carpet with dirty feet. In the same way, we must make agreements with our children.
We have to agree on what time they should be back when they go out with their friends. In addition, we need rules about activities that are not allowed indoors or outdoors (smoking, drinking alcohol, friends staying overnight, etc.). The arrangements will be different in every family. But the ideal way is to negotiate, to listen to the points of view of the different family members and then lay down certain rules that everyone thinks is fair.
The Mistakes We Make When Negotiating With Teens
Negotiating with your teen is not as easy as it may seem. But this difficulty sometimes comes not from the child but from you, the parent. For the belief that your will is law exercises an almost dictatorial authority in the house. You then do not take the opinion of your teenager into account. All of this can sabotage a negotiation before it even begins.
That is why you should treat your teen as a person who matures, grows and learns. They are no longer little children. But they are people with an opinion. They are able to realize the many mistakes they make and also the mistakes you make. It is true that it will never be a symmetrical relationship and it shouldn’t be. But ideally, this imbalance will diminish over the years. You can learn a lot about yourself by listening to your children.
When you negotiate with your teen, you also need to get rid of certain “misrepresentations”. One such performance could be “I’m your father, so you do what I say.” This is a terrible approach in negotiations. For it imposes a principle of authority that holds back any form of dialogue. When parents misuse this principle, it is quite normal that the child will stop expressing what he thinks. They will do things in secret and hope their parents don’t find out. Or they will directly disobey the wishes of their parents. But one thing is certain. They won’t bother to discuss things. Because they know that there is no chance of a solution.
You should also avoid any attempt to manipulate. This also applies to inconsistent behavior. If you have already agreed to something, you may never break that agreement. Many parents do. They then try to justify it with statements like “I’m not going to change what I’ve been doing all my life” or “I can do what I want, but you can’t.” These situations will only create anger. It will push your teen away even more.
When you negotiate with your teen, you can make certain mistakes. The consequences are that the relationship with them can be damaged in a serious way. Then there will be no harmony or the opportunity to grow. We must remember that we can all learn from everyone. But as a parent you are also a guide. But this doesn’t mean you have to be authoritarian, impose things and just expect your teen to comply. Why not talk about it and negotiate? Because this doesn’t mean you will lose their respect. It will also not cause the relationship to become symmetrical.
But we must keep in mind that our children are people with feelings. During adolescence, they begin to build their identity and determine their values. They are able to think for themselves and have certain opinions on various topics. As they grow up, we have to respect them more and more. If we learn how to negotiate wisely with them, our relationship with our children, whom we value so much, will benefit immensely.