As an adolescent, kids are able to think for themselves and may have opinions that begin to differ from your own. They make decisions that are bothersome to you, or that you may disagree with. This is a common experience of parents with adolescents. No parent enjoys fighting or arguing with their child, but it happens often and is inevitable at times. The question then becomes- how can I effectively communicate with my children about the things we aren’t agreeing about in an effective way? As an adolescent, it can be hard to recognize that the world doesn’t revolve around you, or that things don’t always go as planned. Beginning to realize this may not be pleasant for your child. Instead of getting angry or trying to teach them a lesson, it can be helpful to use these moments of frustration as an opportunity to let your child know that you're there for them. You can always extend the olive branch, even though it may not be reached for immediately. Teens may not want to talk about everything all of the time- and that’s okay! Think about yourself as a young teen and all the things you didn’t want to talk to your parents about. Your child may be the same. However, reminding them that when and if they do want to talk, that you are there for them, can go very far. Your child is going to make mistakes and not get it all right one hundred percent of the time. Your “parent alarm” does not have to go off at every wrong turn. Use these moments to communicate openly and honestly with your teen. It is important not to shame them in these instances, but instead continue to let them know that they are loved despite their mistakes. As human beings that is what we all crave- to be loved despite the things that we don’t always do right. Your adolescent is no different.