How do you make sure you get your point across in a heated exchange with your teenage child? Use a Drinks mat!

One of the perennial problems you will come across with your teenage child is being listened to in an argument. Your child will have the same problem with you. Neither one of you is listening to what the other one is saying as emotions are so high, and you believe you are in the right.

There is a way that both of you can say exactly what you want to, and also be forced to listen to what the other one is saying. It is a simple thing to introduce, and involves a drinks coaster. Keep one of these in every room, so that whenever a dispute crops up, you are both able to reach for it.

It works with the following rules. If you have the coaster in your hand, you can keep talking for as long as you want, and the other person is obliged to listen until you have finished. Once one has finished, the coaster is handed to the other person who can do the same.

The very fact of passing the coaster ends up decreasing the tension, as both of you know you are being heard and getting your point across. It also ends up improving your communication together, which is a major challenge with teenagers.

This tip also works with younger children, and can be introduced at an earlier age, as soon as you feel tensions increasing with your child on certain subjects.

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