“You just don’t understand me at all!”
“You never listen to anything I say!”
“Everyone is smarter than me!”
Chances are that if you have been caught in an argument with your teen that starts with one of these polarizing statements, you have found it quite tricky to get out of. It can be extremely challenging for your teen to regulate their emotions and have a constructive conversation once they have escalated from rational into black and white thinking. However, our teens are not the only ones facing black and white thinking challenges. Parenting teens can present us adults with challenging dichotomies like being too strict versus too lenient or holding on too tight versus forcing independence. By showing our teens that we too have this struggle, we are able to normalize the challenges and model healthy ways to problem solve.