How To Teach Healthy Confrontation
However, little kids don’t always learn the best confrontation techniques. They might resort to throwing temper tantrums, yelling, screaming, or hitting. If they continue these unhealthy patterns into their teenage years, you will have a problem on your hands. If your teen hasn’t learned healthy confrontation strategies yet, it’s time to teach them.
If your teenager cannot control his anger, he may benefit from attending a boarding school for troubled boys. When teens don’t know how to keep their emotions under control, they can get into a lot of trouble. They might end up in trouble at school, or they might make your home life miserable. It is incredibly important for teens to learn how to manage their anger before they reach adulthood. Otherwise, their temper can get them into even more trouble as adults.
Teaching healthy confrontation strategies to teens
Being a teenager can be difficult. They have to go to school whether they want to or not, and they usually don’t get much say in which school they attend. Once they’re at school, they’re stuck with their classmates and teachers and can’t switch them. They have to follow rules that don’t always make sense, and they’re not allowed to talk back.
Even as adults, we tend to get frustrated when put in situations like this. It can be upsetting to feel powerless and feel like someone else is in control of your life. So, teens need to know how to express their frustration in a healthy way and manage their emotions while speaking with adults.
Take a break
When your teen is too upset, they might get out of control. If we let our emotions have free reign, they can take over and cause us to act in ways we usually wouldn’t. This is why people are prone to saying hurtful things that they don’t mean during arguments.
Teach your teen how to take a break and cool off when their emotions start getting heated. They might need to step away from the situation for a couple of minutes, or they might need to close their eyes and take a few deep breaths. If they can slow down their anger, they have a better chance of controlling their behavior.
Focus on fact
Adults are not immune to frustration and anger, so we can sometimes respond emotionally as well. If your teen has tried to have a difficult conversation with an adult and the adult responds emotionally, your teen might throw caution to the wind and fire right back. Remind your teen that it’s better to focus on the facts of the situation rather than getting caught up in the emotion of it, but do not minimize their emotions. Validate their emotions while presenting logic.
Be solution oriented
Many confrontations turn sour when either party keeps harping on the problem without deciding on a solution. Encourage your teen to be solution orientated. Before even starting a difficult conversation, they should think through their overall goal.
What do they hope to achieve in this conversation?
If they want to gripe, they might need to vent to someone else. If they want a solution, they should discuss possible solution options.
Stay on topic
Once an emotional confrontation starts, the topic can skip all over the place. You might confront your teen about leaving dirty dishes in their room again, and before you know it, you’re worked up about their grades. It will benefit both you and your teen if you address one problem at a time. As you make this transition, help your teen notice what you’re both doing to stay on topic and maintain a healthy confrontation.
Be a role model
This may seem obvious, but you should role model how you want them to behave in a disagreement. We might tell kids, “do as I say, not as I do,” but they do what we do. They notice how their parents act, and they emulate it. Make sure that you’re keeping your own emotions under control during your disagreements and demonstrate how to process in a healthy way so they can see how it should be done.
If your teenage son does not respond when you try to teach healthy confrontation skills, he may need outside help. At Sundance Canyon Academy, our students attend life skills training sessions focused on developing the skills necessary to succeed in adulthood. They also work one-on-one with trained therapists to get personalized attention. Contact us to find out if our school could be a good fit for your son.