1. People & Relationships

How To Keep From Fighting with Your Parents

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Sometimes your mom and dad can be really frustrating, unfair or even humiliating, which may make you more likely to argue with them. How can you keep your temper in check and prevent fights with your parents when they're are getting on your nerves? Read on for some helpful tips.
Difficulty: Hard
Time Required: 15-60 minutes, plus lots of patience

Here's How:

  1. Slow down and think.

    Taking things a bit slower lets you recognize and sort through your feelings as they happen. If you can recognize that you're feeling annoyed or angry, you may be better able to keep yourself from taking it out on Mom or Dad.

  2. Count to 10.

    This is another method for getting yourself to slow down and think about how you feel before you act. Take a deep breath, count slowly, then ask yourself how you feel and why. You may realize that it's not the best time to criticize your Dad's opinion, for example, and help yourself out by picking a better time to discuss your point of view with him.

  3. Think of a way that your parents have helped or pleased you.

    Everyone acts like a monster sometimes and an angel at others. Try to remember a time when your parents were being as wonderful as ever to balance out the negative feeling you're having about them at the moment.

  4. Remind yourself that fighting usually doesn't solve problems.

    You may not be feeling particularly rational, but try to use your head: Will picking a fight help resolve the situation at hand, or is there perhaps a better way? How can you address the issue calmly and with a clear head?

  5. Don't be so hard on yourself.

    So your dad's angry about your grades or your mom doesn't like your boyfriend or girlfriend. They're entitled to their opinions, but their opinions don't make you a bad person. You're allowed to have your own opinions, too. Use them wisely.

  6. Consider what else is going on in your parents' lives.

    Does your dad have the flu? Is your mom overworked? If they're behaving badly, it's no excuse, but it does give you some insight into why they might be more difficult than usual to get along with at the moment. Try to cut 'em some slack.

  7. Consider what else is going on in your own life.

    Are you not feeling well or reeling from a fight with a friend? Cut yourself some slack, too. Don't let your feelings about other events and people color how you treat your family members -- or anyone else, for that matter. You'd probably hate it if they did that to you, right?

  8. Politely remind others that you need a little space.

    If you can, calmly let your parents know you're feeling frustrated or moody and that it might be best for them to bring up touchy issues at another time. If they're not cooperating, try to set a time and place to talk later, when you're in a better mood.

Tips:

  1. All fights can't be avoided, and sometimes a fight is needed to work out an issue. However, you should be proud of yourself when you succeed in keeping your emotions in check: It's a tough skill but a useful one.
  2. Remember, your parents are people, too -- people who make mistakes, just like you.
  3. If you can, find another way of getting out your anger and frustration, such as exercise, art or music. You may find that it improves your relationships with others and/or makes you a calmer person in general.

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