Parenting expert, Susan Epstein asks and answers a critical question relating to the parent teenager relationship. The question goes: “What do you do when you and your teen are having a discussion or an argument and they walk away from you? Do you yell after them, or do you just stand there, not knowing what to do, hoping they will come back and apologize?”
Epstein’s view on the matter is that whenever your teen walks during an argument or debate, without you taking action, she assumes control.
Epstein’s answer to her own question is three fold.
1. Silence is golden. Do not respond verbally.
2. Follow your teenager wherever she goes. Do not wait for a second.
3. Sit down beside your teenager and continue being silent. Determine to speak to your teenager only when they speak to you calmly. Be prepared to take some verbal abuse. Your silence is your strength.
The strategy applied here, is based on the non violent philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi together with his loyal supporters were able to bring the British Empire to a natural surrender.
This is not to say that you stereotype your teenager as being like the British Empire. Certainly your teenager may come to view you, their parent, as a type of British Empire who seems hell bent on taking away their right to independence.
Nonetheless what is useful in this analogy for application in the parent teenager relationship, is the method by which the British soldiers relented and refused to kill Indians who refused to fight them. The Indians wore the British down by their application of non violence.
In the same way, you as parent, in the parent teenager relationship, can bring your teenager to a natural surrender by applying the same methodology.
So whenever you are faced with aggression from your teen, determine not to reciprocate. Instead meet it with love and peace. Carried out consistently over time, your love will win out
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Author: Paul G SaverThis author has published 3 articles so far.