Alright friends, here we are. The last step in a proven process of how to reduce screaming matches with your teen and make a plan for a great semester (for both of you).
Here's a 3-minute video to help guide you:
So, at this point, your teenager has shared her perspective, you have shared yours. Now, it's time to develop a collaborative solution. A question to pose might sound something like this:
So, we have an issue and we both have different perspectives. What should we do about it?
Here are some tips to develop a plan:
Let your teen give their input first and brainstorm ideas.
Again, the more your teen can feel involved in the solution you create together, the more ownership he or she will have over it, make them more likely to follow whatever plan you collaboratively develop. Let them give ideas, ask clarifying questions, and listen.
Once you've listened, put your input in as well and discuss what would be best so you can both get what you want. You'd be surprised at the creative solutions you will likely develop together.
In the example of Jordan and the phone from previous posts, perhaps Abby has now understood how important it is for Jordan to be able to connect with her friends that she can't see in person, but Jordan also realizes that she doesn't want to have her phone taken away for using it when she's been asked not to.
Together, they decide that, during school hours and homework time, the phone stays in another room. During breaks and after homework is complete, Jordan can have her phone.
Set clear expectations - and consequences.
Once you've come up with a collaborative solutions, make sure it is extremely clear what is expected of each of you - and the consequences for not meeting those expectations. Ambiguity is where things can go south very quickly.
You may even ask your teen what a reasonable consequence could be for not complying with the plan you both have put together...you never know.
In our example that might look something like this:
Jordan is expected to keep her phone in the kitchen while she is doing school and homework in her room. During lunch or a break from class, she may come and use her phone. She can use her phone for an hour after school and then again after her homework is done. If she does choose to use her phone during school or homework, she will lose access to it for the rest of the day.
If an issue arises again, go back to step one...find out why it's not working and listen, then talk, then rework your plan together. This process is a mix of both art and science, and it takes time, so give yourself (and your teen) a lot of grace. But it does help!