Social skills and teens

teenagers on phones

Welcome to the first post ever in Teenage Parenting Tips.

This article by Daisy Yuas in Scientific American really grabbed my attention because, I have to admit, I have occasionally used some of the same "psychologically controlling tactics" to try and get compliance from my own teenage children. I don't think I did it all that often because I pretty soon worked out that it wasn't very effective. Hope I didn't do too much damage 🙂 Their social skills acquisition process seems to have weathered the storm.

Nonetheless, Daisy Yuas makes a very valid point here. It's essential that teenagers learn the art of friendly disagreement as part of their social skill set. In fact it's something we could all learn - to avoid those lengthy and boring prolonged periods of tension and resentment that can follow unresolved arguments.

Social skills and teens will be appearing regularly as a topic in future posts​ because I fervently believe it's one of the most important skills anyone can acquire.

If you would like to read the whole article, there's a link at the bottom you can follow. 

" As countless unmade beds and unfinished homework assignments attest, kids need rules. Yet how parents make demands can powerfully influence a child's social skills, psychologists at the University of Virginia recently found after the conclusion of a study investigating the notorious transition from adolescence to adulthood.

Initially 184 13-year-olds filled out multiple surveys, including one to assess how often their parents employed psychologically controlling tactics, such as inducing guilt or threatening to withdraw affection. The kids rated, for example, how typical it would be for Dad to suggest that “if I really cared for him, I would not do things that caused him to worry” or for Mom to become “less friendly [when] I did not see things her way.”

The researchers followed up with the subjects at ages 18 and 21, asking the young adults to bring along a close friend and, later, a romantic partner if they had one. These pairs were asked to answer hypothetical questions that were purposefully written to provoke a difference of opinion. “We wanted to see whether they could navigate a disagreement in a healthy way,” says study leader Barbara Oudekerk, now at the U.S. Department of Justice's bureau of statistics.

In the October issue of Child Development, Oudekerk and her colleagues report that the 13 year olds who had highly controlling parents floundered in friendly disagreements at age 18. They had difficulty asserting their opinions in a confident, reasoned manner in comparison to the kids without controlling parents. And when they did speak up, they often failed to express themselves in warm and productive ways..."

by Daisy Yuhas in Scientific American

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