Ever heard your parents yell that? Comedians have had fun projecting what happens when “Me” comes in there. That phrase is used when someone hears two voices going back and forth with phrases like, “You make me soooo mad”; “I did not say that, you said that”; or “Who do you think you are?!”; “Ugh, you are soooo stupid!”; and “Leave me ALONE!”; “Stop bothering me!” I’ve sometimes thought of yelling that phrase when I’m hearing couples argue or parents argue with their teens.
Parent’s argue with their teens to convince the teen the parent is right; which sounds like the teen is the parent and the parent is the teen. Everyone gets caught up in the emotion, past the point of no return, and the damage is done. So if you find yourself arguing a lot with your teen, I think it might be helpful to record the argument so you can hear whether there is any logic in the spoken words.
Remember some of these points when you’re tempted to argue:
1. If you’re the parent, why are you arguing with your teen? You are the parent. They can argue all they want, which they will trying to wear you down. Most of the time they succeed, then they get what they want.
2. Let your “YES” be “Yes” and your “NO” be “No” and if you make a mistake own it and apologize.
3. Adults seldom think to argue with one in a superior position, i.e. a supervisor, police officer, instructor. Teens work to bring you to their level and make you their equal. When you engage in arguing, they have won.
4. Teens really have nothing to lose; therefore, they will argue with most anyone about anything. Knowing this and knowing you are the adult, you have everything to lose by engaging in argument and being lowered to their level. If you know your position, why change? If you begin to question your position the teen has won.
5. When you argue with your teen, how many arguments have you truly won? Won to the point you are dancing around singing “I won the argument! I won the argument!” The arguments usually end with both being angry, emotions hurt, and relationship damaged.
6. Finally, let your “YES” be “Yes” and your “NO” be “No” and if you make a mistake own it and apologize.
At HPCS, we work to help improve communication, parent/teen relationships, and strengthening the family unit. Give us a call and learn how we can help you.
~Stan Long, MSW