The (Power) Struggle Is Real: Forging Harmony With Your Teen


As a psychologist practicing for almost thirty years, I’ve discovered three key principles that resolve power struggles between parents and teens:

  1. Know thyself
  2. Cultivate responsiveness
  3. Nourish the relationship

First: know thyself by healing your past wounds. Fear is normal for parents. Your teen ends up in the ER for alcohol poisoning and you want to ground him for life. Your preteen reports that school isn’t for her, eyeballs glued to her Instagram feed. While a consequence may be in order or at least a sober conversation about safety or life with a sixth-grade education, anger, hysteria or extreme punishment will only drive your teen to more egregious behaviors. When our actions are generated by our unconsciouspain power struggles get worse. The reason: you’re trying to solve something with your teen that can only be solved within yourself.

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