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Conflict Resolution is a key growth lesson…

​So what is a conflict? It’s when two people don’t agree on an issue over a period of time and one or both parties feel threatened to some degree. This can be neighbours arguing about overhanging branches or broken fences, it can be you disagreeing with your boss over pay rates or even your landlord disagreeing with you on a topic. You can encounter conflict with people close to you and complete strangers. Conflicts are a natural part of life. How boring would it be if we all agreed and had the same opinion. We all have different ideas, different perspectives and different ideas. And that’s normal and a healthy part of any relationship. Conflicts are a part of everyday life. It’s how we act or react that makes all the difference. Reacting puts you on the back foot and defensive. Facing the issues head on, dealing with it so both parties are heard is most productive. When yelling happens it’s because one or both parties feel emotionally distant from the other. Remain calm. Remain in control of yourself. How you react to the issue and handle it is what helps define you as an adult.
“Conflict can and should be handled constructively; when it is, relationships benefit. Conflict avoidance is *not* the hallmark of a good relationship. On the contrary, it is a symptom of serious problems and of poor communication.” 
 
Harriet B. Braiker
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Kids can be arseholes!

Only a parent understands the “I love him/her but today I don’t like him/her very much at all!” Be they 2, 10, 15, 18 etc our precious offspring who we would take a bullet for, twice, can at times be complete arseholes! Temper tantrums, sibling rivalry out of control, swearing, being abusive, stealing, lying, refusing to do chores, refusing to bathe, refusing peas on the same plate as corn – which yesterday they loved, hating the red cup even though yesterday they loved it, hating you because you got the wrong phone (or whatever), running away, harming themselves, harming others, bullying, keeping secrets, taking their stress and frustration out on you in painful ways, and on and on it goes. They’re amazing human beings with this tendency to occasionally push our buttons or do something that makes us think, you arsehole!!! And the reason it hurts us so much is because we love them so deeply. But they’re still being arseholes!

Few are the kids that are exempt from this classification during their childhood. No parent is exempt either.. doesn’t matter how great a human being and parent you are, you will at some stage encounter an arsehole child.. one you gave birth to! Why? Because they feel comfortable taking their frustrations out on you. Making you the scape goat. And because you love them the most in the world it hurts you the most.

We’ve had friends whose kids have run away.. ReceImagine five horrifying hours of not knowing where your child is Why the run away? Over homework!! Then there’s the little arseholes who lie for a multiple of reasons and excuses… sooo many examples of this from 2 year olds to whoppers by teens who cover for self harming friends which then sees the parents being questioned by police. Another friend’s daughter overdosed on stolen medication on purpose (thankfully after a brief stay in hospital she healed and went onto a successful career). Another friends teen daughter decided to leave home at 16 and sever all ties with her family, choosing instead to live with a man almost 3 times her age (yes the police are involved) why? Because her dad wouldn’t let her date the man!!!!. I’ve got friends with adult children who just cut them out of their lives for the most ridiculous of reasons. The list goes on and on and on. Some arsehole acts are small and insignificant that just muck up our hour or our day, others are gut wrenching, soul destroying acts that cripple us emotionally, and most of the others are somewhere in the middle. The point is, you are not alone. Kids can be arseholes! And let me just add, these are everyday people. No one is exempt. Don’t think your family will never encounter these arsehole acts.
Of course there are asehole parents too but that’s whole other issue and blog.

And I sit here typing this at almost 8pm and my darling son is throwing a hissy fit because he’s mega tired after a friend slept over last night and now he’s beyond tired and it’s all my fault, everything is MY fault. Yep, kids can be arseholes. If you want to join like minded parents come on over to our FB group – Parenting Teens and preteens (and any kid really) with Mentor Mumma here.

We love them more than our hearts can take sometimes and this is what makes their behaviours seem so arseholey. If we didn’t care, if we didn’t love them with every fibre of our being we wouldn’t care, but we do. That’s parenthood. Loving another human more than you could ever have imaged, putting another human above yourself and willing to sacrifice everything and anything for their wellbeing.

You see kids and teens are human too. The thing is their amazing never sit still brains are firing on all cylinders and many just don’t have the inclination, time or thought process to stop and think how will my actions affect others. They don’t stop to consider how their actions will rip the heart of another human being out of their chest, and render them breathless. They don’t, and I think this is because until you have your own children can you possibly grasp just how much love another human being can have for you and just how far another person will go to protect, nurture and empower another.

The actions of the kids mentioned above are from amazing individuals with their own gifts and personalities that contribute to our world. They just don’t see it in themselves yet. They haven’t developed the emotional capacity to deal with issues in a way that spares those who love them the most heartache and pain. They are yet to realise how their actions can affect others in the most horrific ways. But they’re learning. With each ‘adventure’, with each act of defiance or fear or rebellion or withdrawal comes an opportunity for us as parents to face the behaviour front on, call it for what it is .. an arsehole move, discuss it with our kids in depth, let them see our pain, our fears our love laid bare, and then all move on together.

This is mentor parenting. This is parenting from the heart. This is not perfection in a bubble. No parenting endeavour ever is. Parenting is messy. Sooo soo soo messy. So heart breaking. So emotional. So rewarding beyond words.

If you find yourself with an arsehole child know that this too will pass. Reach out for support and help where needed. Love them through this period and phase, speak openly and honestly to them about your fears, your deepest darkest fears for in that they will begin to see your humanness, and your love.

To all those going through tough patches at the moments with your kids know that whatever it is it’s just a phase. Phases end. Some phases will need your 100% attention, focus and support, others will require you to reiterate time and time again that you are there and have your child’s back anytime they need. They don’t warn us when we give birth and take these bundles home but rather than a beautiful Sunday drive through the country with the occasional pot hole, parenting for the most part is a rollercoaster of laughter, screaming, highs, lows, pain, disappointment, pride and the predominantly euphoric free fall of happiness… interladen with our kids being arseholes!

Wherever you are on the journey, sending a tonne of love. You are NOT alone.

Remember if things are really tough your GP can provide you and/or your child with a mental health plan, Headspace is great for psychological counselling for teens, build up your support network for you will need it more than you can ever imagine and always always be open and honest with your child for this is where love shines brightest.

Don’t forget if you’ve got a teen check out Beyond School Practical Tips for Teens book for them for graduation or Christmas, and our other resources HERE

Love

Jo