Why are there more disagreements in the lives of adolescents?
Your brain is still developing – in fact, brain development continues well into your 20s. There are many things that the adolescent brain is better at than the adult brain, such as social skills. But there are also things that your brain is not yet that strong at - for example, and you may not see things clearly or make good decisions in certain situations. Out of love for you, your parents want you to always be safe.
Your brain is maturing to prepare for leaving the nest, and pushing boundaries, making decisions, and becoming more independent is a normal part of that. It is important to find a balance between freedom, responsibility, and safety. At the same time, it would be good to remember that this situation is new for both you and your parents!
Parts that are still developing both as a teenager and in your twenties:
- Risk assessment. Your ability to assess risk is one of the last parts to develop. There may also be a logical rationale for this. At the end of your adolescence, you are in the best physical shape, and in the hunter-gatherer days, high-risk activities were accompanied by big wins. The fact that the strongest members of the community behaved bravely and courageously was rather a good thing because you could end up catching even a mammoth!
Romantic and intimate relationships. Adolescence brings a lot of physical changes for you - your body takes time to get used to hormones, and hormonal levels can fluctuate for several more years. However, it affects your thoughts, feelings, and behavior. In addition, sex and romantic relationships are a completely new world for you. There can be experimentation, but also inconsistencies - this means that emotions can be high and bad judgments are quick to occur.
Problem-solving and decision-making. Since your prefrontal cortex (thinking brain) is still developing, you are more likely to use the amygdala, or emotional brain, located in the temporal lobe when making decisions. This means that you are more likely to make emotional or impulsive decisions.
- Quarrels with family members
Disagreements are normal and natural as long as people are respectful of each other. Conflicts can be stressful, but they also provide a good opportunity for learning. In the process of resolving conflicts, one can develop mutual communication and simply grow as a person.
Situations in which you feel unsafe are certainly not normal. In this case, you need help and support from the outside.
Sometimes people don't know if their conflict is normal and similar to what happens in other families. Here are some examples of what most families disagree about:
Friends and relationships - it's perfectly natural for families to occasionally have different views on friends or romantic relationships. Important choices or decisions - sometimes it is difficult to juggle between the family's expectations and your own goals and desires.
- Privacy - as you get older, you develop a desire for personal space, whereas family members may have different needs in this regard.
- Freedom and responsibility - adolescence brings a growing amount of freedom, but it will be accompanied by responsibility. Issues related to romantic relationships, independent driving, and first jobs can cause disagreements.
Tips and ideas for conflict resolutionPick your battles. Some things are worth fighting for, but there are also things that aren't worth fighting for. It is important to distinguish between the two. Learn how to have complicated conversations. This is a skill that anyone can learn and practice. It can help you be more confident and better at setting your personal boundaries and finding compromises. Learn to negotiate. The best way to negotiate is to really try to understand what the other person is saying (and not saying). This requires a lot of active listening, open questions, and empathy. If you can understand other people's beliefs, interests, and what is really important to them, it is much easier to find a solution that satisfies everyone.
- Find common ground. Find what you and the other person agree on. Maybe it is your safety or that you could take more responsibility?
- Stay friendly in defeat. If you don't get your way, the behavior that follows can help or hinder your chances next time. If you remain calm and act responsibly regardless of the outcome, you will build trust in yourself. Every conversation can be an opportunity to learn and grow.
- Know what you are willing to compromise on and what you are not (and why). Being willing to compromise, especially on things that are important to others, can help you in negotiations. It also helps to understand what the other person is flexible about and what is non-negotiable for them.