Monday, December 21, 2009

When Your Teen’s Viewpoint Is Wrong

Part of being a teenager is separating and individuating your parents. This includes trying on new ideas, especially ideas that don’t match your parents’ ideas!

Mark was exasperated with his son’s lack of appreciation for learning a foreign language. Zach was taking Spanish in school and it happened to be his worst subject.

Wanting Zach to put more effort into his Spanish class, Mark tried explaining the importance of understanding a foreign culture. Zach responded that he lives in America and has no need or desire to learn about other cultures. The more Mark worked on convincing Zach on the benefits of learning Spanish, the more adamant Zach became about why it was a waste of time.

In retrospect, Mark realized he should just have listed to Zach without trying to change his mind. In the future he plans to ask questions about why Zach feels a certain way without trying to convince him to think differently. By detaching himself from Zach’s viewpoints on controversial subjects, Mark believes he can more easily listen without insisting Zach adhere to his philosophy.

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