Do You Fight Because of Your Teens?

I’m just going to come out and say it: raising teenagers is not easy. But if you’re the parent of a teen, you know that already. Teens tend to be like emotional oscillating fans, with wild mood swings that can leave you feeling bruised, battered, and utterly confused. It’s hard not to get sucked into arguments and fights – even if you often don’t really know what you’re fighting about.

It’s draining. Heartbreaking. Frustrating. And one of the most frustrating parts about fighting with your teens is that often, it goes hand in hand with fighting with your spouse.

Why? Many reasons. Sometimes, you might be angry with your teenager and end up dumping those feelings on your spouse and causing unnecessary conflicts. Or you could find yourself blaming your spouse for some behavior your teen engages in – or doesn’t. And, of course, your spouse can do the same thing to you. When these arguments occur – seemingly out of the blue – it may leave you feeling confused regardless of which side you’re on.

That’s why it’s so important to use the three Rs in intense moments with your teens or spouse: regroup, retrace your steps, and remember that open communication is the best way to prevent and solve any conflict. Let’s go over them in more detail.

Regroup – After you and your teen get into an argument, you may still have leftover feelings of negativity. Don’t transfer these feelings onto your spouse. Give yourself a moment of peace to restore your calm and continue the day on a positive note. This time will also let you separate your feelings so you don’t find yourself in the middle of multiple conflicts at once.

Retrace Your Steps – We have all had those moments where we feel angry at every little movement our spouse makes. The problem is, we might not know where this anger started. When this happens, it’s important to retrace your steps and find the root of your anger.

Ask yourself, when did I start getting upset? Who am I really angry with? What can be done to address the problem now? You might find that you’re not upset with your spouse at all. Something at work, something your teen said, or just general feelings of anger may have brought on these hostile feelings. And once you know the root of your negativity, you can begin to address it and change your mindset to a more positive one.

Remember to Use Open Communication In moments of anger, fights seem to erupt out of nowhere. You or your spouse might feel attacked, and even blindsided, not knowing where the fight started. If your spouse is doing something that is upsetting to you, calmly address the issue immediately instead of burying it. This way, the two of you can talk out your feelings and figure out how to solve the problem without having a dramatic argument.

Oh, and one last “R”: remind yourself that having teens is not the most relaxing phase in your life, but it’s one that parents are lucky to go through. This is the time when your child is really growing and exploring their independence. It may be tough in the moment, but they are on their way to being an adult who will accomplish great things and continue to make you proud.

If you and your spouse continue to find yourself in heated arguments concerning your teens or other parts of your relationship, consider contacting an Oregon marriage coach today.