Family really getting to you? You’re not alone. Even as stay-at-home orders are loosening, you’re probably spending way more time at home than you’d like to be. This can lead to some family tension—especially between teens and parents. Our host Myles Bess talks to some experts about how to keep the peace with your family.
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Why do teens and their parents argue so much?
For the most part, it’s pretty normal developmentally for teens and their parents to argue a bunch. During your teenage years, you’re going through a whole lot of biological and cognitive changes. For example, the pre-frontal cortex, the part of the brain that’s responsible for a lot of executive functions like decision-making and problem-solving, is developing. So teens are more capable of abstract thought and compared to younger kids begin to think independently from their parents– and a lot of time arguing with their parents is a way of flexing their new cognitive skills.
What are some tips for resolving conflict?
To resolve conflict, Christine Carter, a sociologist at the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, recommends to first walk away and calm down before trying to talk to someone you have a conflict with. Once you’re calm, rather than being judgmental or accusatory, try to approach the conversation by saying how you are feeling. It’s hard to argue with someone’s feelings. And when trying to reach a resolution for a conflict, try to understand the other person’s motivation and how a resolution might benefit them as well.