Four Styles of Fighting with Your Teenager and Which Is the Healthiest

teens-fighting-style

Well, a blog for The New York Times, reported on a study considering the different ways teenagers fight with their parents. Researchers found four primary styles of fighting:

  •    Attacking
  •    Withdrawing
  •    Complying
  •    Problem Solving

The study found that each style of fighting has different results in a teen’s mental health. Teens who lean toward attacking and withdrawing were most likely to experience depression, anxiety, or turn to delinquent behavior. Complying did not bring teenagers any kind of positive result, per say. For teenagers who simply complied with their parents, there was a high rate of mood disorders.

Attacking, withdrawing, and compliance are unhealthy attempts at communication and conflict resolution. Communication styles adapted through interactions with parents in youth translate to communication in friendships, romantic relationships, and even workplace relationships later in life. Difficulty navigating conflict and resolution at home creates a maladaptive foundation for approaching any kind of conflict in life. Having a disadvantage in coping is a problem for teens who become chemically dependent on drugs and alcohol. Learning proper communication skills helps build the confidence they need to approach conflict in a positive way without having to become defensive or isolate completely. Many of the emotional triggers which come from poor communication and poor conflict resolution at home lead to relapse and repeating the behavioral pattern of addiction.

Problem solving was the style of fighting which lead to the healthiest development in teenagers. “In contrast, teenagers who use problem solving to address disputes with their parents present a vastly different picture. They tend to enjoy the sturdiest psychological health and the happiest relationships everywhere they go,” the article explains, “two outcomes that would top every parent’s wish list.”

Learning To Problem Solve with your Teen

When a loved child goes to treatment for addiction and/or alcoholism, there are many opportunities to learn with them. Family therapy, family support groups, and personal therapy work help parents understand the state of their child’s brain, heart, body and soul as it heals from addiction. Remember that your child is not the enemy but that addiction has come into your home. Work with your teen rather than against them in continuing to build their foundation of recovery.

 

Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center provides adolescents and teenagers with the foundation for a new life in recovery. Our residential treatment programs are life cleansing, supporting growth in mind, body and soul. For information, call us today at 662-598-4214.

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