The Effect Of Family Conflicts On Teenagers’ Behavior

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When people live together under the same roof, it is inevitable for opinions and personalities to clash. It’s normal to experience occasional conflict, sometimes even for the simplest things, and between parents and siblings.

Most children will experience exposure to this situation without suffering harmful effects. However, when the conflict is frequently intense, it can cause detrimental effects on teens.

Harmful conflicts are usually hard to resolve and may result in children having anxiety, depression, or trauma. For adolescents and teenagers, this may be a challenging obstacle to overcome for their development. As such, it can cause a block in their emotional and mental growth.

What are the effects of family conflicts on teenagers’ behavior, and how can you address it adequately?

Mental And Emotional Development

Experiencing family conflict from a young age to a teenager can significantly affect the emotional and mental development of a child.

As teens are most vulnerable at this age, they need to feel secure and loved to develop proper bonds and emotional reactions. If the adults do not provide a safe environment for them, their consciousness’ instinct is to be always alert.

A household that frequently fights may often lead to child neglect by displaying negative behavior and not giving them attention. It may then lead to poor cognitive development, which can affect how they perform at school.

Furthermore, teens who feel neglected from family conflicts, such as a jobless or alcoholic parent, can show behavioral problems. It can affect their social interaction with other people growing up.

Internalizing Problems

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Family conflict can have long-term effects, even up until teens enter adulthood.

Family problems, including vices, addiction, violence, and psychological manipulation, may lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental disorders later in life. They may also have low self-esteem and feel constant fear and loneliness.

It may affect teens’ verbal and social skills as they may have difficulties expressing what’s on their mind. Teens are likely to suppress emotions and bottle up feelings. They also tend to keep their worries and problems to themselves, which can lead to suicidal behaviors or thoughts.

Externalizing Problems

On the other hand, some teens may end up having externalizing problems as opposed to internalizing. A teenager who expresses himself/herself by externalizing a problem acts rash and negatively on their surroundings.

Teens who exhibit externalizing behaviors show signs of defiance, physical aggression, verbal bullying, being anti-social, or vandalism. 

They then show behaviors such as using substances, drinking, smoking, vandalizing properties, and eventually committing crimes. Problematic behaviors are often a result of an underlying problem.

For these teens, they may face adverse and severe outcomes for their behavior. It may escalate to school suspension, total expulsion, or going to a youth detention center. 

Academic Problems

Family conflicts, like financial instability or sibling bullying, can have a detrimental impact on teens’ academic performance.

Growing in an environment where family conflict is a regular occurrence can result in learning difficulties.  It can negatively affect them in lots of ways, including how they behave at school. They may then become anxious about going to school, which then may manifest as aggression toward their teachers or peers.

Sleep Problems

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Lack of sleep or sleep disorder may often result from stress from family problems. It may result from experiencing family issues as a child that causes disturbance on the sleeping pattern and body clock.

They encounter trouble falling asleep even if they don’t have enough sleep, and they are tired and drained throughout the day. No matter how exhausted they feel at night while lying in bed, they still end up staying up for hours.

Sleep problems can be a frustrating experience for teens. It can also cause feelings of anxiety, depression, and irritation. Disregarding sleep problems of teens can be harmful in the long run.

It can affect their physical health, behavior, school performance, and may incur memory problems. It also increases the risk of long-term diseases, such as hypertension and heart disease.

Creating A Safe Environment For Teens

Given their age, teens may find it challenging to make sense of family conflicts and overcome them. They may develop distorted thinking in relation to the problems they faced in past events.

For parents or adults in the house, it is your responsibility to create a safe environment for teens while at home. If the conflict is inevitable, it is crucial to talk to them about it and how they feel about it.

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Here are some suggested strategies on how you can ease a teen’s response to family conflict:

  • Be open about communicating family problems with them.
  • As much as possible, don’t let them hear you or your spouse shouting at each other.
  • Try to be civil around each other in front of your teen, even if you have a conflict with each other.
  • Think twice before saying something or lashing out at them or other family members. 
  • Sit them down and provide opportunities for them to open up their feelings. Don’t interrupt them when they’re talking.
  • Understand that teenagers respond to conflict differently.
  • Learn how you can adequately address their response to conflict.
  • Don’t invalidate their feelings and thoughts.
  • Get suggestions from them on how you can resolve the conflict.
  • Keep a calm tone when you speak. Consider when a problem is worth fighting over.
  • If it gets worse, consider getting help from a qualified family therapist.

Teenagers And Conflict

Remember that a child’s teenage years are the most critical period of their life and can dictate adulthood. At this age, they’re still in the midst of learning essential life skills that they will use until they are adults. Hence, it is vital to deal with conflict effectively without inflicting trauma.

Teenage is a vulnerable period for everyone, no matter what their personality is. As a parent or adult, you play an essential role in developing a healthy response to conflict for teens.

 

Something To Think About During Quarantine: Why You Shouldn’t Let Discouraging Parents Discourage You

Insensitive. Emotionless. Stone-hearted.

Those were some of the adjectives that my relatives used when talking about me. They heard them from my mom and dad, who always described me that way for as long as I could remember.

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I won’t say that I had no idea why my loved ones thought associated such words with me from childhood. My parents wanted me to follow everything they told me to a T. “Share your toys with your sister. Forgive her if she breaks any of them.” “Say hi and make small talk with your aunts and uncles even if they seem to favor your other siblings.” “Keep on studying—we don’t accept A- in this house.”

From a young age, I saw the flaw in those words. I still followed some of my parents’ rules, but not everything. When they realized that their submission tactics won’t work with me, they switched to discouraging me from doing what I want. “You cannot move on the other coast to study; you will not survive there on your own.” “You should not pursue writing; you won’t earn a lot of money.” 

At first, my mom and dad’s discouraging got to me. I genuinely doubted if I could achieve the goals that I mapped out for myself. However, I also realized what they were doing and went against the grain and proved them wrong.

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Now, I know that my folks are not the only discouraging parents in the world. Anyone can have those, although their approach may be less straightforward than that. 

In case you feel troubled because of them, here’s something to think about during quarantine: Why should you not let your mom and dad discourage you from reaching for your dreams?

You Cannot Walk On Paved Road Forever

If you think about it, parents do not discourage their kids from doing something because they don’t want the latter to succeed. Their typical objective is to keep them from going through hardships.

Although the intention is sweet, you cannot walk on the road that your mom and dad have paved forever. It is fantastic during your formative years, but it is inadvisable when you are old enough to stand on your feet. 

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You Learn When You Fail

Parents often say that they will do anything to keep you from harm. Again, that seems likes an incredible sentiment, but the reality is that it won’t be suitable for anyone in the long run.

Without sounding cynical, people sometimes need to get hurt to learn what they should and shouldn’t do. If you grow up without knowing how failing feels, adversities may get the best of you later.

You May Already Be On The Correct Path, And Your Parents Are Hindering It

When your mom and dad instruct you about what profession you should have as an adult, it is most likely something that they want for themselves but can no longer pursue. In this case, they cannot claim to know what’s best for you because your folks cannot see or predict the future. Once you let them get in your head early, they may block the correct path for you.

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Final Thoughts

I did not write this blog to encourage you to stop listening to whatever your parents tell you to do. They are still adults; they know more about the real world than you. Despite that, you also need to figure out if they have a valid point or not before deciding on anything.

In case you wish to follow your mom and dad’s orders all the time, that’s up to you. It is easier than doing otherwise—I get it. But if you disobey them, be sure that you can stand behind your decision so that they will take your ideas seriously.

Good luck!

What Makes A Good K9 Handler?

 

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The family-friendly 2019 K9 Event was a great success. The participants were there on time and with the appropriate equipment and uniform needed for the competition. The courses, like fence and window jump, bus, scent boxes, etc. were so exciting to see, especially the mystery course, which was one of the most-awaited. The K-9s and their respective police handlers demonstrated incredible skill, obedience, and talent throughout the obedience tests, suspect apprehension, and other events. It was indeed a showcase of extensive training of the police handlers and their K-9s.

So what makes a good K-9 handler?

He must be patient. He knows that training takes a lot of time, and he is dedicated to making time for it. He is smart and has the presence of mind when it comes to his actions and its effects on the dog. Being patient also means that although he is experienced and knowledgeable, he knows when to be flexible and to reevaluate his methods to adapt to his particular student.

He must have a fair disposition and should be emotionally disciplined. He knows that temper tantrums have no place in good and successful dog training. He needs to learn when to punish and praise his trainees appropriately. He punishes not because of anger but because he wants to get results. The punishment is carefully thought of, not something that he wants to release because he is stressed or wants to take vengeance.

He must possess good morals and confidence in himself. A great dog handler should not be influenced by his dog’s performance or behavior to give him an identity or relevance in what he does. He has to be his own person.

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He must have a clear understanding of his K9 student and is aware that what he teaches the dog is for the dog alone. An animal, or a dog for that matter, does things because of what and how they are naturally. It does not necessarily live to make the dog handler happy or pleased. Sometimes, dogs can be scared too, and sometimes they don’t play fair, and an experienced dog handler knows this and understands this. It is, after all, an opportunistic predator.

He must have respect for his trainee. He respects and sees his dog as a living thing, not a possession, or as a way of receiving acknowledgments or trophies. He must treat his dog as a distinct product of nature that deserves to be loved and appreciated.

 

 

Socializing While Social Distancing

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Life has been trying for a lot of teenagers ever since the governors have coaxed us to stay at home. But I don’t mean to imply that these big kids have had to start working early or drop out of school. It is challenging, in the sense that they can no longer socialize with everyone they know from school.

I have seen this dilemma first-hand with my 16-year-old daughter. She is one of the most outgoing people I know. She is a member of the dance troop, debate club, and softball team. She is smart and athletic and does not conform to the status quo, so everyone adores her.

Before the coronavirus outbreak, I used to only see my daughter on weekends at night. She always either had a dance practice or softball match. When it’s offseason, she would have a slumber party at one of her best friends’ house. It was only a few houses down the street, but it still meant that I could not see her. Nevertheless, I accepted early that my daughter needed all these experiences to become a sensible and reliable adult in the future.

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Now that the stay-at-home order is in place, my daughter has not seen the sun in weeks. She attends online classes on weekdays, but that’s all she can do. No matter how much she insists that it’s safe to go to her friend’s place, I put my foot down and say no. It’s not that I think there’s a virus in that house, but we can never be too sure these days.

To appease my restless child, I told her to do the same things that I’m about to say to you to continue socializing while social distancing.

Host A Netflix Party

The most effortless thing you can do is host a Netflix party. It should not be impossible, considering every household has access to this video-streaming platform. You can prepare a list of movies and then ask your friends to vote on which ones you will watch on that day.

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For a better viewing experience, you may all install the Netflix Party app on your laptops or computers. Doing so allows you to share a link of whatever’s playing on your account to your friends. This way, you can watch a movie at the same time.

Hold Online Games

Do you miss playing board games with friends? Well, you should know that you need not be physically present to play against each other. There are plenty of online versions of board games—from Scrabble to Bankrupt to Snakes & Ladders—that you may try as a group.

The experience should not be as bizarre as you may assume. You are playing with your best friends; you can either encourage or trash-talk each other as the game continues. Yes, you may not see their faces, but you can express your glee through chats.

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Try Video Conferencing For Hours

Perhaps not all parents will condone to this idea, but I have given my daughter permission to video conference with her friends all day long. Whether they are eating or watching TV, the kids can see one another. They do not talk about much; it’s as if they merely enjoy the company of each other.

Final Thoughts

If social distancing is a pain for adults like us, it must be more frustrating for teenagers. Their free spirits have been forced to stay in the house for weeks and avoid meeting their friends. They may not be exaggerating if you hear them exclaim, “Is this what prison feels like?!”

Despite how badly your child is taking the situation, though, you should remind them how lucky they are for having a comfortable living space. Some families have to stay cramped in a tiny room in third-world countries; others have no choice but to depend on the rations from the local government units. That’s what prison feels like, not what many of us experience here.

Instead of whining, let’s find ways to make quarantine bearable, okay?

Help Your Teen Learn How To Save

(U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Grace Lee)

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Financial literacy was the main topic at the 2017 Teens Workshop, where credit union speakers were invited to share pertinent knowledge on how to teach teens to save before they even reach college. The CEO of the Kingston Credit Union graced the event and spoke about how the literacy program is committed to educating the youth about the value of money, ways to earn, ways of saving money. Teens were also provided with tools on how, in the future, they can make better financial decisions.

As a parent, you, too, can help your teen learn how to save for their future. Here are some things you can try.

Make A Rule About Saving. Your teen is still under 18, so naturally, you get to make the house rules that they need to follow. Make saving part of those rules by asking him to set aside a small amount of his income and put it in the bank. You can start small and then eventually increase the amount, especially if he gets cash gifts from work. He may not like this at first, but after a few months, we’ll bet he’ll be ecstatic to see how much he has saved.

Emphasize The Importance Of Budget. When they start young, it won’t be too hard for them in the future to know which ones to prioritize and which ones to give up for the meantime. This will teach him to be aware of his financial obligations and his wants. He then will be able to formulate a budget for everything, even the not-so-important ones but ones that he’s been dreaming of getting. Also, encourage them to pay their bills by themselves.

Teenager With Money

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Provide Incentives For Him. You can entice your teen to be interested in saving money by matching the amount of money that you are asking him to save in his account. You can match maybe 50% for the first few months and then increase it to 100%. This will encourage him to save more month after month. Another incentive you can give is paying for half the price of their first car. The rest will be his responsibility.

 

 

Signs That You Are In An Unhealthy Relationship

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The 2017 Washington DC Conference was a much-talked-about event especially for teens and adults who either wanted to learn how to strengthen their current relationships with their partners, or how to find one in the first place. The main topic revolved around February being the Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. The relationship education included a discussion on unhealthy relationships and warning signs that you are in one. Positive dating behaviors were also imparted by professional speakers who were there to share their expertise and, one way or another, be able to help reduce the incidence of teenage violence in the country.

Warning Signs

Showing very intense feelings. When your partner shows extreme feelings and unusually erratic behavior, it may feel overwhelming. You’ll know when he makes you feel pushed because he’s rushing to speed up the pace of your relationship. He may become obsessive about you and will demand to see you more often or call you to ask what you’re doing or who you’re with.

Jealousy. If your partner gets too envious that he tries to control your time with friends and family members, then this is definitely a sign that you might want to think twice about getting the relationship to the next level. Jealousy is quite a normal feeling but it becomes unhealthy when your partner is too controlling of you.

He Isolates You. This behavior may not be obvious initially, as he starts this by asking for more alone time with you. But eventually, you will feel that he is intentionally trying to isolate you from your family, friends, and significant others. He will want you to be dependent on him for your needs and wants.

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Ruining Your Reputation. Someone usually does this by talking about you behind your back or even creating a rumor about you because you may have hurt him or he got jealous, or you broke up with him. Sabotage is one of the most dangerous signs of an unhealthy relationship.