March Madness is a sports term for playoffs in basketball. Teams face off to win the battle or game. Basketball is a fast-paced sport with subtle hits and jabs to the other team in an effort to put a ball into the hoop. When the jabs are caught a foul is called by a referee.
This got me thinking about the March mad-ness that occurs in the home. Two or more people face off in their quest to be right. Fast paced talking or yelling can occur but without a referee to step in and call a foul or monitor unfair fighting.
I have found these steps helpful when disagreements arise.
Step 1: Have a planned time to discuss an agreed upon topic. With teens it could be house rules, curfew or grades.
Step 2: Approach the meeting with an attitude of wanting to listen and learn. Yes, you can learn from your teen.
Step 3: Come to the meeting prepared. Have an opening where you tell your teen something great about them. For instance, “I really appreciate how you think about life.” Have a middle section which is to tell you teen what you want or expect. “I want you to be in the home by 10:00 pm.” Then be quiet and wait to let your teen give their opinion on why this might be unfair. Restate what they have said and repeat your rule. End the discussion by telling them how proud you are of them. “I am so proud that you are doing well in your new job.”
Step 4: Plan the next time to meet to evaluate how things are going.
If you notice that you are getting angry, STOP and take a time out. Just say, “I am beginning to get angry/mad and I need to take a break, can we talk again in 10 minutes?” Cool down and come back to the discussion.
May your “mad-ness” become less and less in your home.