+ Some true stories Julie and her mom: Viola and her dad: Garth and his mom
+ What is negotiation? A PROCESS OF DIALOGUE FOR PURPOSE OF REACHING AGREEMENT ON A FUTURE COURSE OF ACTION ABOUT A DISPUTE
+ Why is negotiating with your teen so difficult Part One: It’s Us! Our expectations: things are different now Our lives: we are busy and stressed We are separated/divorced/blended families We are not always comfortable with their technological world
+ Why is negotiating with your teen so difficult Part Two: It’s Them! Teenagers say the most ridiculous things: and we must respect their right to say them. This is hard work. Teenagers live in a scary world; they want to come home and be their “baby-selves”. It is a safe place for them to do that. This is hard on us. Teenagers do not see themselves as we see them; they honestly do not realize how infuriating they can be. This tries our patience. Teenagers usually behave more badly at home than in the outside world. This is not fair!
+ In other words: it’s really about us!! How can we understand them enough to tolerate them (and not be hurt) ? Teenage boys and their parents: Scenario Max & mom At this point in their lives, teenage boys need distance from their parents, especially their mothers. This is very hard to accept. They absent themselves even when present…. Hunh?
+ Girls are different… Girls don’t withdraw… they fight. Especially with their mothers. Why? The extra negativism is needed to deny the strength of the connection, which is usually stronger with their moms. Scenario: Daughter wanting a ride.
+ Parents are: To be taken for granted: Scenario with Cheryl/ Lee So embarrassing!!! Scenarios Not important: friends are everything.
+ Can we negotiate with our teenagers? Yes! Provided that you do it within established boundaries; eg/ curfew, manners, drug use, laundry, whatever rules are important to you. It is important to have rules. You may not be able to enforce them, they may not work perfectly; but you should have them all the same. Do not respond to defiance; do not get drawn in. State the rule and exit. Make a clear statement: the rule has been broken; such behaviour is not acceptable; and the rule remains in effect.
+ dispute resolution approaches Three basic approaches: 1. INTEREST BASED: Parties decide together based on mutual interests Process: exploring and reconciling interests, eg/ mediation. Outcome: win-win. 2. RIGHTS BASED: 3rd party decides based on legal rights and obligations Fact finding, “who is right?”, eg/ court, arbitration. Outcome: win-lose 3. POWER-BASED: “Might makes right”. Process: unilateral imposition of will, eg/ voting; strike; war. Outcome: win-win; win-lose; lose-lose.
+ Integrative/problem solving strategy GOAL: to turn a conflict between two people into a mutual problem to be solved by them together. KEY FEATURES: 1. FOCUS ON INTERESTS, NOT POSITIONS. 2. SEPARATE THE PERSON FROM THE PROBLEM. 3. BE AWARE OF EACH PERSON’S ALTERNATIVES OUTSIDE OF THE NEGOTIATION. 4. BE CREATIVE: INVENT NEW OPTIONS FOR MUTUAL GAIN. “win-win” “CREATING VALUE”
+ what are “interests”? WHAT? Substantive interests: needs for tangible things like money, time. HOW? Procedural interests: preferences for the way people discuss their differences and how the outcome is implemented. WHY? The emotional and psychological needs people have. needs, fears, hopes, wants, concerns.
+ Four ways to integrative negotiation (adapted from Fisher and Ury’s “Getting to Yes”) separate the person from the problem; be easy on the person and hard on the problem. Use a problem-solving orientation. focus on interests, not positions. Asking the right questions, in the right way, at the right time, to elicit the underlying needs, wants and goals of the parties. “Peeling the onion”. use creative, non-judgmental “brainstorming” to invent options for mutual gain. use objective, third-party criteria to overcome impasse and help make a deal.
+ Using mediation skills with your kids Mediation is a safe place to have difficult conversations. It is non-judging, non-blaming dialogue. It focuses on what each person needs in order to reach an agreement. It is done though careful, patient and respectful listening. It is honest about fears and concerns. It seeks to find the reasonable reason behind the unreasonable position. It aims to find solutions that address real concerns, without necessarily having to agree on the facts.
+ Using mediation skills in teen negotiation Depersonalize Mutualize Humanize Understand the useful role of anger Avoid cycle of attack/retaliate Use active listening Use reframing Recognize feelings Use “I” and not “you” Know your/their BATNA Make it safe emotionally and physically Acknowledge power differences Build trust Be skilled at “turning” competitive tactics You don’t have to be right
+ The conversation that you will never have Son and father scenario
+ How to respond to your teen’s bullying behaviour Scenario: Caitlin and the overnight Do not get drawn in to the fight Call it for what it is: bullying is not tolerated Be open to changing your decision if that is in fact a reasonable thing to do Don’t be afraid to admit you are wrong and apologize Don’t be afraid to say a simple “No, sorry, that’s the end of our discussion.” ( Say it nicely!)
+ Dealing with lying Evan’s story Teenagers lie to their parents--- a lot You can do nothing about it; you can only control what you do when you find out Stay on top of them; ask direct questions and require specific answers to try to detect lying Don’t get too hung up on the lie; the bigger concern is the forbidden behaviour Learn what you can trust your teen about and when you cannot, and be honest with your teen about that.
+ Building (your) trust Out with Leo and Sam (who are they????) Be honest with your teens about your reasons for making rules and asking questions: you love them and want them safe. Ask them to suggest options for addressing your concerns--- without judging them. Let them know what you need them to do in order to build your trust. Treat them like the responsible young adults you want them to be.
+ In summary You will have to nag them. It is okay to withdraw services on a specific occasion because you are angry at them; they need to know that. The context of unconditional love however is critical; they will learn by example that you treat those you love with care and kindness, no matter how awfully they may behave. You will always be the parent and they the child. That is hard work. Confront their lies and deception. Leave it there.
+ In summary (cont’d) Do not undermine the other parent, ever, even if they are wrong. (unless it is abusive) You cannot control their use of drugs or alcohol. You can only set rules and your expectations. Punishment is rarely effective at this age. Don’t lecture. Be alert to real signs of depression and take suicide threats seriously. Love them cos they love you and they need you.
+ Resources Getting to Yes, R. Fisher & W. Ury, Penguin Books, 1981 How to Talk So Teens Will Listen & Listen So Teens Will Talk, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish, Harper Books, Get Out of My Life, but first could you drive me and Cheryl to the mall?, Anthony E. Wolf, Farrar, Straus, Giroux, Stop Negotiating With Your Teen: Strategies for Parenting Your Angry, Manipulative, Moody or Depressed Adolescent, Janet Sasson Edgette, Perigree, Parents, Teens ad Boundaries: How to Draw the Line, Jane Bluestein, Health Communications Inc., 1993 Hold Onto Your Kids; Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers, Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Mate, Beyond Reason: Using Emotions as You Negotiate, R. Fisher and D. Shapiro, Penguin Books, Improvisational Negotiation, Jeffrey Krivis, Jossey-Bass Bridging Troubled Waters, Michelle LeBaron, Jossey-Bass, Everyday Negotiation, D. Kolb & J. Williams, Jossey-Bass 2003
+ Prepared by: Riverdale Mediation 2010 Riverdale Mediation provides mediation, arbitration, training and conflict resolution consulting services in a wide range of fields, including separation and divorce, employment and partnership disputes, corporate conflicts, and victim-offender conflicts. For more information visit