In Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When the Stakes are High (2013), authors Patterson, Grenny, McMillan & Switzler observe how easily our eons-old defense mechanisms kick in, when we match an inappropriate or sharp comment, accusation or unkind shot with our own hasty, ugly reaction. With absolutely no clue as to what is going on in our partner’s head, the opportunity for understanding and connection is missed.
Be curious rather than judgmental.
If you remember and apply this mantra regularly and consistently, you will be halfway there in improving relations with your teen.
Much negative behavior is driven by a need for attention or a need that isn’t being met. Responding with force or ultimatum reinforces negativity and invites resistance.