While the teenage years can have some of the best moments between a child and a parent, they are notorious for housing some of the worst. Major disagreements with a teen can get pretty ugly pretty fast, and parents may not know where to turn if a situation gets bad enough.
In the face of conflict, some parents may seek police involvement to make a statement and show their teen that they are serious. While interaction with the police will certainly send a message, it may not be the message that parents actually want their teen to hear.
Why Police Involvement May Not Be the Best Way to Settle a Dispute With Your Teen
Have you ever settled a conflict with your teen by calling the police? This is a loud and bright signal to that teenager that you no longer have control. It may also indicate that you never asserted the necessary amount of authority when that child was growing up. I would encourage parents to try their hardest to assert suitable discipline and boundaries to keep peace in their families and to preserve their status as authorities in their homes—with no need to get the police involved.
When police officers enter the equation without a real need for their involvement, teens will start to lose respect for their parents and may feel less secure in their relationship. If you are scared for your safety in a conflict with your teen, the police should, of course, be involved. But in other difficult situations, think about finding a trusted mediator like an extended family member, a family friend, or your pastor. If a teen comes face to face with familiar person who has no stake in the conflict, he or she will have less of a tendency to rebel and more of a tendency to actually consider the wisdom of the third party.
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