For parents of older adolescents, graduation, ‘Schoolies’, waiting for university offers and leaving the routine of friends and school can cause stress and sometimes a little mayhem in homes at this time of the year. With a few positive strategies or restorative statements in your tool kit during times of conflict, parents can feel a little more supported and ready for the next phase in their child's growth and development.
this room cleaned up right now! You act like you were born in a pigsty!'
off that iPhone, iPad, laptop, whatever... I am confiscating the lot!'
call this a report? You will never amount to anything!'
can't believe you could be so stupid! At your age I was out working and
bringing up two kids.'
aren't you like your sister/brother? I am not wasting any more time on you.'
everything we have done for you! I will never trust you again!'
never appreciated what we have given you. You're more trouble than you're
lie to me! I know you're on drugs! You've always been a disappointment!'
cost us a small fortune educating you and this is how you repay us!'
could you do this to us? You're a disgrace to this family! Get out of my
been trouble since the day you were born! I suppose you are happy now.'
enjoy hurting your mother/father/us, don't you!'
knew this would happen! Are you crazy or something? Grow up!'
of these statements are guaranteed to produce anger, humiliation, frustration,
rebellion and even despair in your adolescent.
Instead of responding in this manner, try another approach.
all getting upset. Let's leave it and talk later.'
me see if I have understood. You feel...'
- 'Don't forget, I'm on your
finish the argument now, but I want you to have the last word.'
am really sorry I shouted at you.’
about we try to sort this out without hurting each other's feelings.'
don't know what to say. What would you like me to do?'
know you're upset. Don't worry, we will sort this out.'
forget what's happened. We all stuff up sometimes. The important thing is that
we're both sorry about what has happened/what we've said.'
not fight any more, I don't like seeing you so unhappy. Let's see if we can
find a solution that we are both ok with.'
of these strategies are worth a try. If none of them work, you are advised to
seek professional advice.
With best wishes to parents and students as they complete the final weeks of Year 12.
Head of Campus, Middle & Senior Years
“Adolescence - A Guide For Parents” Michael
Carr-Gregg & Erin Shale