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Arguments with Your Teenager May Brighten Their Future

January 5, 2012

Arguments at home with your teenager can be wearing. However arguments are a vital part of growing up and can provide life long lessons if done well according to Psychologist Joseph P. Allen. Allen published his findings in the journal Child Development.

He explains that the quality of the argument is the key. Arguments act as mini life lessons in how to disagree — a necessary skill later on in life with partners, friends and colleagues on the job. In fact, effective arguing acts as an inoculation against negative peer pressure. Kids who felt confident to express themselves to their parents also felt confident being honest with their friends.

Allen offers one word to teach teens to argue more effectively: listen. In the study, when parents listened to their kids, their kids listened back. They didn’t necessarily always agree, he says. But if one or the other made a good point, they would acknowledge that point.