Ad­vice on re­la­tion­ships, ca­reers and skin­care

Friday - - Beauty -



Q I’m a teenager and at the mo­ment the re­la­tion­ship be­tween my fa­ther and me isn’t good. He gets very an­gry some­times and this leads me to re­act and talk back. I think he is very stressed at work, but this sit­u­a­tion is get­ting me down. How can I stay calm and talk to my fa­ther in a neu­tral way?

AU­su­ally, it’s par­ents ask­ing me how to deal with their teenaged chil­dren, but your ques­tion has high­lighted that some­times par­ents dis­place their own feel­ings on to their chil­dren and fuel the con­fronta­tion them­selves.

Of course, it’s fairly com­mon to hear about par­ents clash­ing with their teens. It’s a time when you want to de­velop greater in­de­pen­dence and your par­ents still have the re­spon­si­bil­ity of guid­ing you through to adult­hood. How­ever, the very act of get­ting in touch and want­ing to find a so­lu­tion, shows me that you are wise beyond your years.

With this level of ma­tu­rity in mind, can you pin­point any­thing in your own be­hav­iour that might be trig­ger­ing your fa­ther’s anger? I say this, be­cause I think in this sit­u­a­tion, it’s im­por­tant to ex­am­ine all the an­gles.

If your dad is strug­gling with stress, then it’s im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that this is not your fault and his anger, though di­rected at you, is prob­a­bly a symp­tom of the pres­sure he is un­der. Of course, this is very hard not to take per­son­ally, but it’s im­por­tant to dis­tance your­self from it emo­tion­ally. Re­act­ing to anger with anger never works and maybe you’re go­ing to have to try and take the lead in this.

I sug­gest the next time you feel a con­fronta­tion brew­ing on the horizon, try to turn down the heat by ei­ther po­litely ex­cus­ing your­self, or calmly ac­knowl­edg­ing that he feels an­gry with you and ask­ing if there is any­thing you can do to re­solve the sit­u­a­tion.

You’re a teenager and that means your emo­tions will run high, and stay­ing calm might seem im­pos­si­ble, but the more you’re ob­jec­tive about the sit­u­a­tion, the eas­ier it is to con­trol things. Some­times, we just have to be the big­ger per­son.

I won­der if you could also iden­tify times when you do get on with your dad. Do you par­take in any ac­tiv­i­ties to­gether or are there any times when you en­joy chat­ting to each other? If so, maybe you could talk to him gen­er­ally about his work and show you’re in­ter­ested. It’s easy to let com­mu­ni­ca­tion go when you’re feel­ing re­sent­ful, but com­mu­ni­ca­tion is at the heart of all re­la­tion­ships. The less you talk and re­ally lis­ten, the more you un­der­stand the other per­son. The same goes for your dad too. Com­mu­ni­ca­tion is a two-way street.

Fi­nally, is there any­body in your wider fam­ily cir­cle that you might trust enough to con­fide your con­cerns to? Per­haps your mum, an older sib­ling or an un­cle? You

The NEXT time you feel a con­fronta­tion brew­ing, po­litely EX­CUSE your­self, or calmly ac­knowl­edge that he feels an­gry with you and ASK if there is any­thing you can do to RE­SOLVE the sit­u­a­tion

might find that they’re wor­ried about your dad’s stress lev­els too and they might also of­fer some ad­vice and sup­port. As a young per­son, it’s not al­ways easy to imag­ine what the stresses and strains of adult life can be like, but I ad­mire your will­ing­ness to try and im­prove the sit­u­a­tion and maybe with a bit of ef­fort on both sides, your re­la­tion­ship might end up the stronger for it.

60 is a life coach, and clin­i­cal and cog­ni­tive be­havioural hyp­nother­a­pist

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