Trinity Spirit

← ​A guide for managing conflict between parents and older adolescents at a stressful time of the year.

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.

How to increase conflict:

  • 'Get this room cleaned up right now! You act like you were born in a pigsty!'
  • 'Get off that iPhone, iPad, laptop, whatever... I am confiscating the lot!'
  • 'You call this a report? You will never amount to anything!'
  • 'I can't believe you could be so stupid! At your age I was out working and bringing up two kids.'
  • 'Why aren't you like your sister/brother? I am not wasting any more time on you.'
  • ‘After everything we have done for you! I will never trust you again!'
  • 'You've never appreciated what we have given you. You're more trouble than you're worth.'
  • 'Don't lie to me! I know you're on drugs! You've always been a disappointment!'
  • ‘It's cost us a small fortune educating you and this is how you repay us!'
  • ‘How could you do this to us? You're a disgrace to this family! Get out of my sight!'
  • ‘You've been trouble since the day you were born! I suppose you are happy now.'
  • ‘You enjoy hurting your mother/father/us, don't you!'
  • 'I knew this would happen! Are you crazy or something? Grow up!'

All 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.

How to defuse conflict:

  • 'We’re all getting upset. Let's leave it and talk later.'
  • 'Let me see if I have understood. You feel...'
  • 'Don't forget, I'm on your side!'
  • 'Let's finish the argument now, but I want you to have the last word.'
  • 'I am really sorry I shouted at you.’
  • ‘How about we try to sort this out without hurting each other's feelings.'
  • 'I don't know what to say. What would you like me to do?'
  • 'I know you're upset. Don't worry, we will sort this out.'
  • ‘Let's 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.'
  • ‘Let's 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.'

All 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.

Mrs Carrie Allwood
Head of Campus, Middle & Senior Years

Ref: “Adolescence - A Guide For Parents” Michael Carr-Gregg & Erin Shale

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