Conflict is difficult to deal with, and it is especially tough in the adolescent years. Your child is already going through many changes in their body and mind. Conflict simply adds another complex layer to a time in life where things may already feel as though they are in an upheaval.
By supporting your child through any conflict they find themselves in, you can be a stabilizing voice in their life. Here is how you can help your teen deal with conflict in a way that will help them to push through the tough times and find their way to a better place in life.
Learning from Mistakes
Always remind your teen that although conflict is laborious, it is a sure way to learn different kinds of lessons. We can all learn from our mistakes. This means we can explore and find a tangible lesson, and then go forward while being able to avoid the same pitfalls in the future.
Using Conflict to Learn about Themselves
When there has been a disagreement, it is a rare opportunity to search inward and learn about oneself. There are many lessons you can find if you are determined to learn them, and this is important for teens to realize.
Maybe your teen will come to the awareness that he (or she) does not fight in a fair manner, or that he holds his feelings in until he bursts in a dramatic way. Or maybe he will find something positive, such as his strength when forced to stand alone on an issue.
Using Conflict to Learn about Others
Conflict is a great way to learn about others. Your teen can learn about what kinds of friends, family and other individuals are in their lives based on how conflicts arise and play out. Teach your teen to decipher whether the other party is still supportive during conflict, or whether they are using it as an opportunity to push your teen down. Is the other party fair and honest, or angry and deceitful? Conflict will reveal all.
Using Conflict as a Springboard to New Opportunities
It is said that unless we grow uncomfortable where we are, we never have the motive necessary to make changes. Conflict can sometimes cause your teen to want to move beyond where they are at the moment.
Maybe being in constant conflict with their boss will push them out of their current workplace and into the job of their dreams. Perhaps conflict experienced with a current boyfriend will prove to your daughter that she deserves better in a partner, and will prompt her to break up and move on.
Be an Emotional Support
During times of conflict, your teen will need your unconditional love and support. Be a strong role model and teacher of how to deal with negative encounters, and most of all let your teen know you will always be there for them.
Spend quality time with your teen and help them get their mind off of their problems. Know when to discuss, and when to suggest taking a mental health break and heading to the mall to grab an ice cream together.
Conflict will be difficult for your child, because conflict is difficult for everyone. You will be one of the main guiding supports for your child as they navigate it. Use this opportunity to teach your child about growth, friendship and self-care, and they will keep those lessons for life.