From Lorraine Segal’s Conflict Remedy Blog
Successful communication and conflict resolution with teenagers can be immensely challenging. When parents find an approach that helped, it is natural to hope it will work again. Unfortunately, as teens change and grow, those old solutions may not be effective any more. And when parents keep applying the same methods, harder, faster, more insistently, because they don’t know what else to do, problems escalate instead of resolving.
This very human phenomena is called The Einstellung Effect. David Brooks summarizes it as, “..Try(ing) to solve problems by using solutions that worked in the past instead of looking at each situation on its own terms.”
The name comes to us from the field of international affairs, but the idea of unhooking from assumptions and past solutions, looking at each situation anew in order to resolve conflicts in present time, is as valuable to parents and teens as it is to nations.
If parents are stuck, how can they apply this concept to their problems with teens? Here are some suggestions:
Peter Adler, Ph.D., Peter currently leads ACCORD3.0 Consultants at www.mediate.com/AccordConsultants. Peter is the former President of The Keystone Center and former Executive Director of the Hawaii Justice Foundation. Peter also has served as...By Managing Editor