By: Carey Snide
At 17, I went on a trip with friends to serve in an underprivileged community in South Carolina. While there, I picked up a cute clip-on nose ring. I was so excited and could not wait to play a trick on my parents when I got home. So when I returned home, I carefully placed it, pinching my nostril, and hopped on down to the kitchen to see them that first morning. I was totally ready for the, “it’s my body argument,” with a carefully planned, “Just kidding!”
My dad took one look at me, made a face that said he clearly did not like it, then said, “It’s your nose,” and walked away. I’ll admit that was disappointing and I was hoping for a little more than that. I was not generally a teen that did things to get a rise out of my parents, but with him not responding, my ambitions to get him going were extinguished. He essentially poured water on my plans.
Kids and teens have this horrible tendency of trying to exert power over adults and relish it when it works. This is because they, in reality, have very little power, so really yearn for it. So they will egg parents on; incessant nagging, whining, temper tantrums, anything that throws us off and leads to them getting something they want. In my case, I wanted my dad to freak out. When my dad did not engage, he kept his power and did not leave room for a battle.
So next time your teen dangles some battle bait – don’t take it!
You will have less fights when you do not react to their battle cries. Remember - it takes two to rumble so walk away and live to not fight another day.
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