Ever since the dawn of time, parents have butted heads with their teenagers. It can be difficult to come to agreeable terms. Compromising helps both parties feel like they won in some way. It can also help teach your teen negotiating skills. Here are some tips for striking a compromise with teenagers.
1. Use compromise as a way to motivate
Your teen wants more freedom, so they come to you. It’s something that isn’t completely unreasonable, but you want them to work for it. One way to make you feel better about saying yes is saying yes as long as they accomplish certain things. For example, if they want to have a later curfew, tell them they can get a later curfew as long as they maintain a certain GPA and stay out of trouble. This could help increase their grades as well as give them what they want. They will learn that they have to work for what they want. If they don’t meet the terms of the agreement, do not give them a reward. You don’t want to come off as a pushover.
2. Stand firm on certain issues
There are certain things that you should never compromise on. You should not agree to let your child drink or smoke underage. You also shouldn’t compromise on certain safety concerns, such as going on a date with a stranger from the internet. Set clear boundaries and know what topics you simply will not compromise on. You don’t need to give in on everything. You are right to say no at times.
3. Insist on a more moderate solution
Teens tend to go for extremes. They don’t want to get one small tattoo, they want a sleeve. Instead of getting some cute boy shorts, they want to wear something smaller. You don’t have to put a hard no on these things, especially when it comes to expression and style. Consider coming to an agreement on something in the middle. For example, suggest she try wearing a thong. Instead of a sleeve, how about something on the shoulder? These and similar solutions strike a reasonable compromise that keeps everyone happy.
4. Maintain authority
No matter what, you have to remember that you are the parent in this situation. You do not have to explain yourself to your child. You are the person in charge. Do not allow your child what to do in life. You don’t want to establish that type of relationship. Go into negotiations understanding that it is a privilege to even have this conversation. Shut it down the second they become rude or disrespectful.
5. Be respectful
If you want your child to be respectful, you need to show them respect, too. Throughout the conversation, listen and talk to them as a person. If you think it will be helpful, talk about why you came to the decision you made. Hopefully, your child will learn to be respectful, even in situations where you don’t agree.
Teenagers try to push the boundaries. It’s what they are best at. When your child tries testing the boundaries, practice your negotiation skills. Hopefully, you can come to an agreement.