Sunday, January 13, 2008

Choose your battles when it comes to teenagers.

I find that the relationship between my sixteen-year-old daughter and my husband has become strained lately. They seem to be able to push each other's buttons and cannot seem to have a civil conversation without it ending in an argument. I know that teenagers are very sensitive to criticism and even telling her to clean her room because it is getting a bit messy, is a touchy subject. You can ask until you are blue in the face and even threaten to take away computer privelages but all to no avail. I decided to choose my battles and if my daughter wanted to live in a messy room it was her room to do with as she may just as long as she kept the door closed so we couldn't see it. I then let the matter rest. My husband on the other hand continued to bug her about her messy room. This led to battle after battle with both sides never getting anywhere and causing lots of unrest for the rest of the family.

I finally had enough and sat down with my husband and told him that he was lucky that the biggest problem he had with his teenage daughter was that she had an unkept room. When you look at all of the kids her age that are smoking, doing drugs and even dealing with pregancy, we were pretty blessed to have a daughter who may be a bit obstinate at times but otherwise was a pretty good kid.

Think about this when your teenager does something you do not approve of, such as wanting to have blue hair or deciding they want to paint their room black. Is it really such a big deal? Is it really worth upsetting the whole house over something trivial. If it is not life threatening for the child or anyone else, let it go. It doesn't hurt to mention that you would like things to be different, but if the teen has his mind set, let it go. Save the battles for the big issues and don't sweat the small stuff.

Happy Parenting,


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