According to an informal survey, most teenagers claim grades or school-related topics, such as homework or study habits, is the number one argument between them and their parents.
A study by New York University showed that 49 per cent of students reported feeling stressed on a daily basis and further interviews revealed they felt the pressure to work hard by parents with little time for relaxation.
So it’s no wonder every now and again a few angry words are exchanged and doors are slammed occasionally. You’re trying your hardest, you don’t need the added pressure AND you don’t want to be made to feel guilty when you spend a couple of hours with your friends here and there. Here are four ways you can keep your parents and of course, yourself, happy.
Respect your opponent
Respect the other person’s view, even if you disagree with it. Psychologist Peter Ditto, from the University of California stated that when people have their self-worth validated, they are in a better position to hear your perspective, even if it may challenge their beliefs.
Don’t try to “win” the argument
Seems contradictory considering the headline of this article, but there’s more to this point than meets the eye. You can win the argument by trying to convince your parents that you’re NOT trying to win! Sound confusing? Scientific research has proven that when we disagree with someone, they feel like their beliefs are being threatened and so guard them even more.
A recent University of Colorado study revealed that when political extremists were asked to explain HOW their favourite policy would spark change, rather than WHY they think it would bring about change, their views softened. So if your parents suggest you study more, ask them how you should go about this, rather than why.
Yes, it can be easy to lose control of your temper especially when parents are involved. But psychology tells us that emotions play a large part in conflict by altering how you appraise the situation. If you lose your cool, you will only antagonize your mother or father, which will only escalate the row upwards.
Avoid “you never let me do anything!”
Avoid using angry phrases such as “you never let me do anything” because most of the time, they will hit back with that one instance when they let you hang out with friends. Don’t give your parents the feeling that they “owe” you something, instead ask with gratitude: “I know you let me stay with friends last weekend and I really appreciate it, but I would love to spend a few hours with so-and-so this weekend.”
Being grateful is also great for your stress levels. It’s a scientific fact that when you get stressed or angry, too much cortisol is produced which can in turn damage the nervous system. Researchers at the University of California Davis have found practising gratitude is effective in reducing cortisol by as much as 23 per cent, meaning a better mood!
Do try to understand that your parents are only trying to help you achieve your goals – they are not intentionally trying to get on your nerves!
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