My daughter is 12. She is so argumentative. When she doesn’t clean up her room, and I tell her to put everything away, we end up fighting – with her giving endless excuses about why it’s not her fault. It’s hurting our relationship. What can I do to stop her arguing all the time?”

Your Answer

I’m not sure how well parents could significantly alter the nature of our offspring. Can we alter their personality? Both my children were raised in the same home but are as different as night and day! I think we can affect their values, manage their education, and help them develop self – esteem, but if arguing is her natural tendency, then what you can do… is to help your daughter channel her strengths more productively?

The answer to your question is no, you cannot — stop her from arguing. But you can tell her to take responsibility for her behavior, and accept the consequences of being argumentative. As soon as she perceives the link, her behavior might change. Another way is to co – create with her, a vision of her best self. Does her behavior fit with the vision? What other behavior could work better?

Focus on her strengths. Remind yourself not to confuse strengths with performance. Remind her that she is the best judge of her strengths (she can surely debate!) Spend as much time as you can, talking about these traits. This should give you positive things to discuss! All the time stay focused on the question, “What outcome do you want? How do you want people to think and feelabout you?”

12 – year olds can think pretty well and you just might be surprised at the results!

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