Perhaps the only challenge greater than teenage itself is the correct parenting strategies of the adolescent teenagers. All through the rearing and caring phases of a child from birth till the time he is capable of taking responsibility for himself, parents face the maximum worries during the teen years. Dad and Mom’s favorite child suddenly becomes different, somehow unfamiliar.
Different changes can take place in adolescent teenagers, – physical, psychological, behavioral or developmental. And the child emerges as a completely new person, just as a butterfly emerges from the pupa. The adolescent teenager finds it difficult to adapt to these changes quickly and normally. There needs to be parental guidance on how to strike a balance between retreating childhood and advancing adulthood in this sensitive, transitional period. In the absence of this guidance, the butterfly may become impaired.
Due to the rapid and large-scale transformations taking place in the mind and body of the adolescent teenagers, frequent tantrums, sudden bouts of anger, frustration and confusion become noticeable. Adolescent teenagers engage in altercations with peers, or they insult each other for apparently no reason, which often turns violent.
The arguments that used to be peaceful and harmless previously, suddenly end up in violent squabbles. We see a teenage boy knocking out another, or a teenage girl abusing another, for trifling reasons. Adolescent teenagers often destroy each other’s possessions. Tempers flare up easily at the slightest, or sometimes with no provocation. Fighting or getting into conflicts seem to be the only way to put an end to a disagreement or respond to an insult. They often justify such behavior by saying, “not fighting is weakness” and they admit that they can not control themselves in such situations. Some adolescent teenagers even argue that when there is violence everywhere, what is the point in being meek?. Why does this happen? Why do adolescent teenagers refuse to settle conflicts in a peaceful way?
The most widely held answer is perhaps that adolescent teenagers lack the proper guidance to cope with these difficulties. Sometimes, parents place restrictions on the lives of adolescent teenagers, or give them too much freedom, neither of which is an ideal solution to resolve the problem. With these difficult problems in mind, a host of communities, organizations and schools have come forward with strategies to help adolescent teenagers and their parents. They have experienced a good deal of success in their effort to help adolescent teenagers reduce the level of violence, resolve conflicts more peacefully and figure out better ways to handle tricky situations. This also helps them by boosting their self- confidence, increasing their concentration levels, perform better in school and develop healthy relations with peers, teachers and parents. Safe Youth is a prominent role player in this field.
The most practiced and effective conflict resolution techniques for adolescent teenagers emphasize the following.
- When you and your friend see that a conflict or an argument is inevitable, resolve to sort it out peacefully. Don’t shout or blame each other; instead, listen patiently when one of you tries to explain things to the other. Try to find options and think of ways that would be beneficial for both of you.
- Try to place yourself in your opponent’s shoes. When they blame you for something, for example, for insulting one of them, listen carefully to what they are saying and learn to understand their reason of accusing you. You may not be the one who insulted them or you might not have had the intention of hurting them. Don’t contradict rudely, but ask for clarifications on why they think you are guilty. Then offer your own clarifications but without counter-accusing.
- Give stress on the similarities you share with your group or peers and not on the differences. It is a common tendency to establish oneself as different in order to get extra attention. But this may often lead to conflicts that may turn violent. If you do not find any noticeable similarity with your peers, respect the differences and show respect for them.
- When you encounter a conflict, don’t turn your back on it simply to avoid altercations or violence. This is an escapist and not a peaceful attitude. Face the situation and make clarifications from the perspectives of both the parties. Avoidance does not solve problems, but may only breed hatred and anger in the minds of adolescent teenagers.
It is important to look within yourself to resolve conflicts before you blame and find fault with others. Adolescent teenagers have to live through the most difficult phase in their lives. If not properly guided, their sharp minds can catch rust and all future potential reduced to ashes. Help yourself to help the world and secure a promising future that is beckoning you.
Free guide – A Parent’s Guide to Teenage Issues in the High School
Eguide – A Teen’s Guide to Resolving Conflict
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