Our kids turned into “typical teens” sooner than I had expected. I first started noticing a shift when they were 10 or 11 years old. All of a sudden, there were eye rolls and “duh” and “You don’t get it, Mom”.

Even though we had a great relationship with our kids and lots of closeness going into the tween and teen years, they began pushing boundaries and arguing with us early on.

The conflicts were mostly about small things at first, but grew into bigger and bigger issues as they became more independent.

Especially if you consider yourself a gentle, conscious parent–all this arguing and conflict might throw you off. It certainly did for me.

I thought that because we had done so much positive work when our kids were young (supporting their feelings, seeing behavior as communication, building connection in the family) that we’d be able to get through the teen years without all the typical difficulties and stress.

But I was wrong.

While all that early parenting helped a ton, we didn’t get to bypass the conflict of the teen years.

However, one thing that helped tremendously was understanding WHY teens lied and argued with their parents (from the book NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children, by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman).

I made a short video for you to explain why arguing with your teen is actually a GOOD sign and what it says about the strength of your relationship.

I know this concept may sound counterintuitive, but I promise–it’ll make sense in the end.

After you watch, I’d love to hear what you think. Did this change how you view conflict with your teen or tween? Will this new perspective help you navigate the tween and teen years better? Let me know in the comments below.