How should you avoid bargaining with your teen?

Teens know how to push their parents' buttons to get them to give into their endless demands; however, bargaining with your teen is a sign that you are losing your parental authority. While there are some rules that can be negotiated, such as curfew and television, other rules, such as underage drinking and co-ed sleepovers, are non-negotiable. If you're clear with your teen as to which household rules are negotiable and which aren't, then there is no need for bargaining. To put an end to bargaining, talk less and be firm with your decision.

Parents are entitled to make the right choices for their children since they have more experience, wisdom and knowledge. Sometimes teens mistakenly believe that they should be the sole decision-makers for themselves and that they can ignore their parents' wishes, wearing away at their parents' authority and causing power struggles at home. Subsequently, parents, wishing to make peace with their teen, give in to their teen's demand, which only further reduces their authority. Teens respect parents who draw clear boundaries and remain firm in their beliefs because it shows they care.

As opposed to non-negotiable parental decisions, certain rules should be negotiated since a teen is more likely to follow a rule once he is part of the process. Some common areas for negotiation are allowance, clothing, chores, and recreation. Conflict resolution is an excellent tool to teach your teenager since it teaches him to communicate clearly and to perfect his listening skills. It forces the teen to look out of the box in order to find a solution that's fair and satisfactory for both sides, while it forces the parent to rethink the issue and decide whether it's worth arguing about. Talking in a calm, nonconfrontational tone and explaining the reasons behind your decision help encourage cooperation and mutual understanding.




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