This is part five of our 6-part series on family relationships. Click to read parts one and two, three and four. All of the blog posts in this series are focused on how families can use Search Institute’s Developmental Relationship Framework–the key elements of strong relationships–as their kids transition to middle or high school.
As many parents of teens will tell you, power struggles are common with kids as they enter their middle school years.
All good relationships involve a give and take. Kids learn and grow when they have a voice in the family and are part of making decisions that affect them. How we share power—and how that changes as our kids grow up—prepares them to be responsible, contributing adults. But parents may have different expectations than young people have about when, where, and how to share power.
Sharing power is a common source of conflict in families. Many parents feel that when they share power, it means they give up power.
But sharing power doesn’t mean they hand over control of the household to the kids. When we share power, we simply respond to the kids unspoken request: “Treat me with respect and give me a say.”
When kids approach the teen years, the power struggle begins because they’re growing up. This is when…
Sharing power in families helps parenting adults develop deeper, more meaningful relationships with their kids, and learn to trust them.
Sharing power in families helps young people . . .
Search Institute has identified four everyday actions that allow adults to share power with kids:
Here are some other things that parents and kids can do to share power and make decisions together:
Underneath all these changes, power struggles are signs that your relationship is changing. The good news is that the conflicts tend to even out or decline through high school and only about 5 to 15 percent of teenagers have high-conflict relationships with their parents.
It’s all a normal part of growing up. In the long run, it’s good–even if it’s hard when parents are going through it.
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