Actions or Feelings?
When you have a conflict with your teen, it can be very difficult to put your emotions aside.
Many people lead with their emotions, often to their own detriment. Psychologists have discovered that more people behave themselves into new ways of thinking than think themselves into new ways of behaving. Sometimes we believe that we must have the feeling first, before we act. But in fact, changing your actions will lead to a change in feelings.
For example, if you are in a heated discussion with your teen, you may not feel like acting respectfully toward him or her. Act respectfully anyway, and see if you don’t feel your blood pressure falling. You may not feel like listening to their ideas with an open mind. Listen anyway, and see if you don’t find some common ground with them.
If you want different results, take different actions! As the saying goes, “If you do what you’ve always done, you will get what you’ve always gotten.” Act first, and the feelings will follow. Now I realize that this is far from easy and that it requires a lot of control over your emotions and actions. However, if you are able to master it, your communications with your teen will greatly improve.