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Family conflict

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Updated: 1/14/2003 11:29 am
Conflicts occur in all families, even the ones in which everyone normally gets along pretty well. The key to minimizing conflict between parents and teens is mutual respect, with the teen recognizing that the parents are the ones in charge. If parents set healthy boundaries and limits, and they aren't scared to discipline from the onset, many conflicts can be avoided as children enter their teen years. Differences of opinion with an adolescent are inevitable. There will be issues regarding health, safety, morals, and attitude that will require you to both state your case and hold your ground. Remember, as long as a child is not of legal age and is living under your roof, and you're paying the bills, your rules apply. Adolescents are too old to spank, so you'll have to try alternative methods of discipline, such as using rewards and penalties, in order to reinforce good behavior and impose consequences for behavior that's not in the teen's best interest. If you automatically bail the child out of consequences for negative behavior, you'll succeed only in perpetuating a lack of responsibility and a lack of respect. If your adolescent is totally out of control, you might want to seek help through a local 'tough love' group or a doctor.

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