Teach Your Teen To Handle Conflict with this 1 Communication Method


Does your teen need help in communicating with others - especially when a potential conflict is involved? 

Of course.   In fact, most of us can say the same thing.  

Then today's episode will be just for you.  When you finish, you will have an easy technique to show your teen about how to handle potential communication challenges.  It's usable, workable, and can be put into action quickly.

I know that all of us are working through how to handle quarantine.  This morning I walked to the park near me.  As I was leaving I heard a lady shouting.  She was standing by her car along with her dog.  What was she yelling at?  It wasn't a "what", it was a "who".  A second car drove up, parked a safe distance away, and 3 cute little kid's heads shot up thru the sun roof.  Turns out, the lady with the dog was shouting excited greetings to her daughter and 3 grandkids. It was so sweet.  I waived to the grandmother and clapped for all of them and that grandma waived back to me unabated enthusiasm.  Do I know this lady or the daughter with the grandkids?  No, but we shared a moment because we cared. 

I can’t tell you how my heart goes out to parents of teens right now.  The challenges are already at an all time high anyway.  Today, I am sharing a caring moment with you that I feel can make a difference.  In fact, it's a technique we can all use.   

Let me start with a few questions….

  • Has the quarreling happened at your house?
  • Is high school, a job, or college in your teen's future?
  • Can you hear them saying ““If I have to clean up one more dish that my roommate messed up, I’ll scream.” 

And the big question:

Has your child mastered how to handle potential conflict?

I usually save this “communication technique” for students about to head to college or life after HS.  But these times are different.   This method does require a bit of maturity, but high school age+ should be able to handle it.  

 But on to our all important, yet simple technique for today.

We call it "communication transferal".

Don't let the name intimidate you.  The 2 examples below  can easily be adapted to different situations and scenarios.

Example One: 

Let’s say the room everyone is using to study and perhaps even eat off, like the kitchen table, is messy. You can’t find a place to sit, much less study or eat. How to handle this potential conflict?

  • Our First point: Time Your Response
    • Give yourself a small bit of time to consider how to bring up the topic.
  • Our Second Point: Land Your Approach
    • What would happen if you said to the major clutter-creator, “you are a slob!” Odds are, nothing good, right?  What about “hey, are you having as hard a time as me finding a place to study?  Our clutter doesn’t seem to be behaving at all, does it?  Let’s figure out a plan.  What might work for you?
  • Third Point: Cultivate The Benefits
    • The obvious benefit, you get the clutter issue addressed.
    • The benefit to your clutter-creator? He/she had input on a plan, a compromise, something that will work for him, too.

In case you are thinking this is somewhat polly-anna, look at what we did in our conversation. We “transferred” the conflict to something inanimate, and didn’t accuse.  All of a sudden, the “bad guy” was the clutter itself, not the messy person. 

Example Two: 

Need another example? Have you ever heard someone say “she’s wrong, he’s wrong, or you are wrong?  (feel free to input any putdown word you’d like).  I just used the word “wrong”. 

But what if we transferred our communication to the words someone said, not the entire person?  So instead of “she’s wrong” it could be “what she SAID was wrong”.  Do you see how that kicks back the conflict a notch? 

It’s just transferring the negative to something other than the person you are directing your frustration to.  Getting along with others is a learned “skill”.   And it can be practiced. 

Oh, by the way, speaking of skills, are your teen (and you) perhaps struggling with what accomplishments they have, how to record them, and need help remembering when and how to use them? We’ve got a Guide and Training Video to Help save you both time and stress especially when you need this for resumes, school organizations, applications of all types.  It’s our “Teen Accomplishment Tool Box” training.   I’ve put the link in the Show Notes if you are interested.  It’s free.

Probably one of the BIGGEST assumptions we humans make is that EVERYONE thinks like WE DO.  I’ve been happily married over 30 years and I can’t even say that.  

The same is true of your teens.  Teaching them this transfer technique can greatly improve their ability to get along with that roommate that they might have never even met until they set foot on a college campus, or it can help to get along with siblings, bosses, and more. 

Getting them to practice this now while they are still in HS - - - will pay dividends at home right now. 

Have a great rest of your week and as we always say:

You CAN Have Success in the Middle of it ALL

Pam and the JellyGeneration Team!

Show Notes:

Teen Accomplishment Tool Box


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