Fighting with Parents: How to Deal
By Caitlyn, age 15, Ohio
Kids need advice, a good example, and sometimes discipline and punishment. But what about parents? I'll use my boyfriend as an example. His family always fights and he's getting tired of it. His parents really only know how to yell, not talk. He's only 14, and he does all the work in his house, and is constantly grounded because his parents are smart. They know if he gets out of the house, the laundry, dishes and everything else that they should be doing won't get done. He doesn't really know what to do, so this is what I told him:
Well, your first problem, the yelling ... all you've got to do is not yell back. Parents are complex beings; when you're yelling back or showing attitude, they're just going to get more and more angry. Parents tend not to have too much patience when it comes to yelling at their kids. When they're already yelling, they're obviously in a bad mood. Just don't yell back and after a while they won't have anything to yell at you for. If you just talk to them like a normal person instead of going 40 octaves above how you'd normally speak, they'll probably calm down. Speak to them calmly and don't show any attitude. If you don't show attitude at every other word they're saying, then they have nothing to yell at you for, and they can't ground you or anything because of 'that attitude problem'.
I went on to say: As for no one else doing work around the house, talk to your parents about the fact that there's two other siblings in that house who don't do anything. Remember, TALK, DON'T YELL! Tell your parents that the reason you're doing poorly in school is because you're constantly expected to do everything they're supposed to be doing; being the parent and the maid at 14 isn't cool, and when you're 14, you're supposed to be able to have a life. Explain to them that you want to be able to see your friends and you want to do better in school, so you can't do all the chores. Once you've - calmly - gotten through to your parents, suggest a change such as a 'chore wheel'. Anything that'll help with you not having to do everything. A chore wheel has assigned jobs that everyone does every week and punishments when you don't do what you're supposed to ... stuff like that.
Another way to solve this problem is everyone in your house carrying their own weight. By this, I mean, you not doing everyone's laundry and everyone's dishes. You do your own dishes and laundry and everyone else does their own as well. Not only will that cut down on your responsibilities, but it will also make your siblings and parents do something. Your parents need to know that they have two other children who aren't doing anything in the house. They also need to know that you're tired of doing everything and they should probably carry their own weight.
Okay, so maybe your family situation isn't unfair like my boyfriend's. But one thing everyone can learn - TALK, DON'T YELL! It's the only way to really be heard.