Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!!!!!!!!!

This is what I have learned from my heated debates with my teenager.

I allow my kiddos to be online at home and after school as long as it does not hinder family activities. I also have full access to WIFI in my house, which means I can turn it off when I choose. In some cases, I shut off WIFI for my kids; this action causes mini-meltdowns. This is the background to why I had this question and why I researched this topic. I also believe this is something most parents ask and want answers to.

Humans do not like to be told what to do (NO WAY); we often argue with Humans do not like to be told what to do (NO WAY); we often argue with authority when asked or given a directive. There are many reasons that adolescents may become argumentative with their parents. We may want more independence, disagreeing about rules and values. Believing in something so much makes it is hard for us to take others’ perspectives into account. Trouble coping with emotions or immature thought processes regarding consequences of actions. Struggles working through conflicts with peers or adults. All or any of these situations could cause friction in your home. The following questions explore potential reasons teens may argue with their parents is the same for us when discussing our rights as adults.

Why is my child so argumentative?

How does your child’s behavior affect you? When your child becomes argumentative during an interaction, it affects you emotionally by triggering feelings of anxiety and annoyance. We also believe that they should do what we say without argument or question. In our mind, what we say is LAW! In their mind, it is an opportunity for debate. The power lies in the discussion and who can stay calmest.

Three triggers may cause your teen to argue with you:

  • The first is puberty, the second is hormones, and the third one is independence. Puberty brings hormonal changes, which will create mood swings, emotional outbursts, and feelings of vulnerability. 
  • Your teen wants to feel strong by asserting their own opinions rather than just agreeing with yours or others. 
  • They seek more independence during this time, so it becomes hard for parents to understand why they want their space even though you have given them plenty before.

What can I do about my teenagers’ constant arguing?

The most straightforward answer would be to change your perception of your child’s behavior as “arguing” and seek other methods to find a middle ground. This is a challenging concept to grasp.  If we cannot change our own views on what arguing is within our relationship with our teens, then all of this information will be useless.

There are many different reasons why the average teenager might argue with their parents. It could simply be that they feel like they know better than their parents because they are exposed to more things –  through school, sports, or even seeing it at home; I also fail at this daily. Teenagers often want more freedom and independence, which can cause them to rebel against parental figures for not giving them room to grow. They believe there is too much oversight by the “authorities” in their lives. This can create arguments between parent and child during this time where both parties think the other isn’t respecting them enough. Space is critical for me and may also help you. Relationships can both grow and die in this power struggle.

Suggestions for ending arguments with your child:

  • Try not to start an argument when you feel like you are already too upset.
  • When arguing, try to remain calm and level-headed at all costs. Sometimes taking a minute or two before joining the discussion can help control your emotions allowing for better interactions.
  • If you do lose your temper, take some time away from your child/teenager – separate yourself from them for a short while (a few minutes to an hour) as this may be triggering old memories of past arguments.

My point of view as a dad:

The reality is, I write this for my own headspace and wellbeing. I am not perfect and never will be. Even after all of my education and years as a classroom

The reality is, I write this for my own headspace and wellbeing. I am not perfect and never will be. After my years as a classroom educator, I find myself sliding into the “because I told you so”! Mindset. I commented a while back, “you get hard in the yard.” In this case, the “yard” interacts with tiny humans that we hope will become strong-minded adults. We want them to question, be assertive, and be headstrong, all with respect. If this is who we want them to be, who will be their role model? I try not to fail at this, but I do. Arguments become yelling matches. Feelings are hurt even if we do not want them to end like this. As parents, the most powerful thing is not to win; it is to show how we recover when we are wrong. We ALL fail. The key is how do we recover?

Your partner in education and parenting,

Douglas Greek EdD

Author: Douglas Greek EdD

My name is Doug Greek and I am a parent with an Education Doctorate. My Doctorate is in the area of leadership and curriculum and I have been a teacher for 15 years (as of 2021). I believe I am both book-educated and life-educated when it comes to child development. I am a first-generation college graduate as well as a first-generation educator. I have had all of the “classes” of theory and practicality in the area of child development and education BUT this all went out the window when my wife and I had our first child. We were married for 14 years before having kids, so I thought we were ready. Even after 26 years of marriage, we are still learning. https://open.spotify.com/show/0L4J63EbZAixPAgNYbxU3q

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