• Fighting With Your Teenager | Laurie Warren | Episode 117

  • fighting with your teenagerEver feel like all you’re doing is fighting with your teenager? Whether it’s an eye roll, the exasperated tone, push back, or an actual argument, it’s exhausting. Parents get frustrated and end up feeling guilty. But Laurie Warren has a different view of the situation which she’s sharing with Mighty Parenting podcast host Sandy Fowler. They discuss the truth about fighting and how parents can handle it in a way that actually helps their teenager. Laurie gives us insights into handling arguments and what we can do in between to foster connection with our teenagers while managing the relationship.



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    A Favorite Quote from the Show: 

    “Our teens learn about themselves by pushing against us and the family unit.”

    High Points of Our Conversation About Fighting With Your Teenager:

    fighting with your teenager is a natural part of their emotional growthThe key to dealing with arguments is mindful relating. 

    When communicating with our teenager we are looking to promote connection. We can work on we-first communication. This allows us to promote an agenda we both agree on vs. me-first communication where we just push for what we want.

    Our teens learn about themselves by pushing against us and the family unit.

    Fighting with your teenager allows them to learn how to disagree with other people.

    Remember that it is important to:

      • Choose your battles
      • Say you’re sorry whenever possible
      • Be clear on your intentions
      • Have an open heart—be curious
      • Hold healthy boundaries

    Our teenagers often hold a mirror up to us and it can be very uncomfortable. This can trigger us and instigate a fight with our teenager.

    There are certain words that tend to trigger teenagers including should and shouldn’t , always and never. Should and shouldn’t create shame. Always and never aren’t really true and don’t leave room for our kids to be imperfect or make mistakes.

    Rather than saying you should clean up your room you can say, “One of our family values is having a neat place to live so I’d like you to clean up your room”.

    Toxic certainties are when parents are absolutely positive they are right simply because they are the parent. Expressing these can cause us to argue with our teenager. Additionally, they are detrimental to our communication and our relationship with our teenager. 

    A healthier way to express an issue would be, “You know, when you spoke to me this is how I felt. I’d like to know why you spoke to me like that.” This leaves room for them to evaluate the situation and their actions while leaving room for remorse or discussion.

    We can practice mindful relating in circumstances that are less emotionally charged. We can practice at work, with neighbors, etc. instead of only practicing with our kids.

    Communication in the moment tends to be emotionally charged. Circling back to restate something or to apologize can be very effective and healing.

    The root of disagreement is people seeking power over each other. When you’re in a disagreement, ask yourself what this is really about and if it might just be your insecurity.

    Teenagers need to learn how to draw boundaries and we’re the safest people for them to practice on. One of the best ways to teach them is to do it ourselves. 

    We need to respect their boundaries but also remember that when we push back a bit it gives them a chance to practice being strong or negotiating in a healthy way.

    Help your teenager learn to set boundaries that they believe in and that respect the family values.

    When you set a boundary outside of your relationship with them, for example declining joining a committee, be sure to let them know about it. Don’t preach, but share it at the dinner table or when you’re spending some time together.

    Resources Mentioned in Show:

    Mighty Parenting Episode 34 – Connecting With Your Teenager Through the Five Love Languages

    Our Guest Laurie Warren:

    Laurie Warren fighting with your teenagerLaurie Warren MSN is a change agent for empowered well-being in body, mind, and spirit. She works as a corporate consultant, wellness clinician, sought-after speaker, and is a regularly featured expert in the media. She’s the author of the new book Wild World, Joyful Heart: Unlock Your Power to Create Health and Joy.

    Laurie holds a MS in clinical and integrative nutrition, with additional training in biochemistry, functional medicine, psychology, and herbalism. Her approach to health, healing, and joy is grounded in three foundational beliefs:

    1. The body is a self-organizing organism that’s hard-wired for healing.

    2. Our mind can be used as either a bridge or a barrier in our quest for well-being.

    3. What matters most is WHO we are as we move through this world.

    A Maine native, she lives in the Greater Boston area and enjoys her four children, her two grandchildren and the gift of life.

    To learn more or connect with our guest visit https://www.lauriewarren.com