Effective arguing methods

Author and expert Cynthia G. Whitham, LCSW explains effective arguing methods if you find yourself in an altercation with your teenager. Watch this video for some great tips in communicating with your teens.
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Effective arguing methods

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Teens get into a lot of fights with parents. One secret is truly to avoid them. Your teen gets into the ring, puts up his fists. Feel free to walk on by. Don't take the bait. But you may have to give rules sometimes. Now the best rules that are followed in a family have a lot to do with established rules. There's a lot less fighting around well established rules like chores, for example. But sometimes you do need to put in a new rule. So the key is don't add a bunch of rules. One at a time so often. And don't call them new rules. Teens hate the word. And when you state whatever it is, such as, we need to not borrow other people's stuff without permission, you follow it with a rationale, something short. Not because I said so. Something like this - because it will keep us all getting along. After you state the rule, after you state the rationale. The next step is really imperative. You allow a stand off. Either you end the discussion, or your teen storms out and ends the discussion, and that's fine. Why be satisfied with a stand off? You've said the rule, you've said the rationale, your teen's heard it, there's no more conflict cause you've stopped the discussion, and it saves a little face, and it also keeps the door open for more talk later on.

Author and expert Cynthia G. Whitham, LCSW explains effective arguing methods if you find yourself in an altercation with your teenager. Watch this video for some great tips in communicating with your teens.

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Cynthia G. Whitham, LCSW

Director, UCLA Parenting & Children’s Friendship Program

Cynthia G. Whitham, LCSW, Director of the UCLA Parenting and Children’s Friendship Program, has been training parents for over 30 years. She is the author of two books, Win the Whining War & Other Skirmishes: A family peace plan, and The Answer is NO: Saying it & sticking to it, which have been translated into nine languages. In addition to her UCLA group classes, Ms. Whitham has a private practice on the east and west sides of Los Angeles. In 2000, she spent a month training clinicians at the National Institute of Mental Health of Japan. A lively speaker, Ms. Whitham does presentations and trainings for schools and organizations. Ms. Whitham raised two happy, healthy, and (relatively) well-behaved children (she thinks that may be the best credential of all). Daughter Miranda McLeod is a fiction author and is in a PhD program at Rutgers University. With sadness, Cynthia tells us that her son Kyle died in 2007, within months of graduating from San Francisco State University.

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