I have always been very intrigued by the idea of turning a teen’s weaknesses and struggles into strengths. Let me give you a scenario. I recently saw a mom whose teen daughter was constantly in a power struggle with her about who the “mother” of the younger kids in the household was. We re-framed this as the teen daughter’s desire to demonstrate leadership qualities in the house. The mother and father began to find tasks around the house for the teen daughter that didn’t involve disciplining the younger kids and did involve utilizing the teen’s desire to be a leader. The family struggles calmed down and everyone relaxed.
Let me give you some other ideas. Perhaps your kids are fighting. Instead of screaming at them about sibling rivalry-how about rewarding them for learning how to manage conflicts with each other? This sounds much better doesn’t it? What if your teen son complains that his father spends much more time with the younger kids and begins to act out? Consider not focusing on his acting out and focusing instead on his desire to spend time with you. This is much more flattering and easier to deal with, right?
I say that it’s all in the way you look at things.