The image of the rebellious teen might be more myth than reality, according to researchers at The University of Queensland’s Parenting and Family Support Centre.
Professor Matt Sanders, director of the Parenting and Family Support Centre and founder of the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program said most Australian families had around two minor disagreements a week with their adolescent children.
“These disagreements over issues such as chores, homework and screen time last around 15 minutes and usually peak when a child is around 12 to 13 years of age,” Professor Sanders said.
“Parents should not view minor arguments as evidence there is something wrong with their family.
“Clashes over chores can actually be an opportunity for parents to help their teenager learn and practise how to deal with conflict in a safe environment,” he said.
Researchers from the Parenting and Family Support Centre are evaluating two Triple P – Positive Parenting Program seminars, Reducing Family Conflict and Coping with Teenagers’ Emotions.
The seminars are for parents of children aged 11 to 16 who are concerned about family conflict.
Psychologist and researcher Dr Kylie Burke said around a quarter of Australian families with teens experienced a level of conflict that could damage family relationships.
“The conflict can lead to problems for the child at school or with friends and increased their likelihood of participating in risk-taking behaviour,” Dr Burke said.
“The relationship with parents is an incredibly important protective factor for teens.
“By learning how to deal with these points of conflict, parents can make sure they keep a strong relationship with their teen and stay relevant in their kids’ lives.’’
(Source: The University of Queensland)