What do children think of teenagers
Everyday family life in the corona crisis
"This is just unreal! Every time again! Why have we made agreements and you NEVER stick to them! This can not go on like this! I have to be able to rely on you! I can't trust you like that! I do not get it! We sat down and you agreed. You even signed our contract! Why are you not keeping the agreements? That really isn't too much to ask! "
Such or similar "conversations" unfortunately often take place in many families with young people. Parents are often desperate that they can no longer trust their child, that they cannot rely on agreements being kept. And the young people are usually given the "blame" for it. But the responsibility in dealing with this type of conflict lies with the adults, because instead of assigning blame, they could also ask WHY the young people do not stick to agreements. Because every behavior has its reason. Therefore, an attitude of curiosity, interest, openness and a solution-oriented attitude of adults is more helpful than ascribing guilt and consequences.
How can such issues be "solved" with as little conflict as possible? There is no silver bullet for this, but I would like to point out a few thoughts and ideas that can help you change your perspective and develop new solution strategies so that young people and parents can feel seen and taken seriously.
"WE have made an agreement!"
When parents come to my practice with their teenage children to find out why their child is not sticking to agreements, then my first question is: "HOW did this agreement come about?" PARENTS have determined what young people should and should not do or when they should be at home. This approach has nothing to do with an agreement. These “agreements” are perceived as COMMANDS by the young people. "But you agreed and even signed it!" Was the objection of a mother, who was shocked to see that the agreement was actually tantamount to issuing orders. "Yes, of course! Because I hadn't seen any other chance. I've tried a few times to tell you that it doesn't fit me like that. But you didn't want to listen to me. I just wanted to get out of the situation and signed the stupid piece of paper! ”Was the statement of a young man who, together with his mother, embarked on a process in order to be able to break new ground in the mother-son relationship.
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