How to manage arguments with children

As children grow, they develop an identity of their own, an identity that pretends to be different from that of their parents. It is in adolescence when this maturing identity brings them their own ideas and opinions about life that make them ready for adulthood.

It is possible that while the child is changing and becoming that new capable person, the parents have a hard time adapting to that change. It is normal for adults to continue to see your child as someone who needs help to make the decisions that are happening in his life such as choosing what to wear, what to eat, what friends he meets with, how to decorate his room, what sport to practice, etc.

This adaptation process causes many families to have discussions between parents and children. It is easy for conflict to break out since parents tend to protect and provide security regardless of the child's age.

The discussions are given by the differences that are generated as a result of a situation that implies a problem. Negative feelings, bad mood, anxiety, discrepancy and tension appear with the conflict.

There is, in general, a negative view in which the discussion is understood as a situation that generates discomfort and is difficult to solve. We see it as something that tends to be avoided, and if it cannot be avoided, it is understood as a confrontation in which one of the parties always loses.

We must learn to see conflict as a situation to be solved and where both parties win. Discussions, therefore, can and should be understood as an opportunity to learn social skills and negotiation, empathy and decision-making skills.

The differences that exist between parents and children should be used to reach an approach, to strengthen ties and achieve well-being which will be key to personal and family development.

Most of the time parents do not know how to handle arguments with their children, which seem to ignore reasons why adults are upset. Both enter into a loop of discussions that have no end and seem to have no possible solution. It is important to make this scenario a constructive situation. For it:

- Must reflect on what the problem is and who is involved.

- Identify the emotions and thoughts that are latent in the discussion.

- Reflect on how you are acting. What types of behaviors are taking place and how they influence the conflict. Shouting, blaming, punishing do not help to improve the situation.

- Focus communication on the emotions that are occurring rather than on the situation itself.

- Empathy. Explain your point of view and put yourself in the child's place to try to understand him. Avoid criticism.

- If there is anger, it is better leave a time and return to the discussion later.

- Get informed in order to have more than one alternative solution to the conflict, thinking of the good of all parties.

- If we offer different alternatives to children to choose from, negotiation is encouraged.

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