Have you ever been in an argument with your teen, and when it was over, you felt completely beaten down? You may have felt weak, tired or anxious. You might even have had physical symptoms of pain, such as a stomachache.

At times like this, the conversation seems more like a boxing match. After only three rounds, you feel like you’re about to drop. Then comes round four. Your teen says, “Come on, Mom, you’re so old fashioned.” At round five it’s: “Everyone else is going.” Then comes round six: “Angie’s mom is so cool. Why can’t you be like her?” followed by round seven: “I hate you! I can’t wait to get out of here!” That’s the knockout punch. The conversation is over.

How do you stop an argument with your teen from spinning out of control? No matter what the issue, it seems that you wind up in the same place, over and over. It’s a no-win scenario, leaving both parties near death. No one feels good when the battle is over, even if one party gets his or her way.

I believe there are two points of view that will solve this dilemma. First, both parties have a right to their opinion, and second, both parties have a right to have boundaries. If both of these issues are honored, then the discussion will play out quite differently.

Let’s take a closer look at the first point: both parties have a right to their opinion. This perspective requires stepping into the other person’s reality and taking a look at the situation from their point of view before reacting. It is trying to develop compassion by understanding what the other person is going through.

Stepping into their teenager’s shoes is particularly hard for parents to do because they feel that they know better. And maybe they do. But teens learn from their own experiences, not from what their parents have learned.

This does not mean that teens should be allowed to do whatever they want. It means that they should be allowed to express themselves and to explore the options.

A good strategy for you as a parent is to ask your teen a lot of questions about the issue, request or situation. It helps to understand why your teen is wanting what he or she wants. Then the two of you can look at the pros and cons of the choices. What this approach does is to turn a potential argument into a discussion.

If a battle breaks out anyway and you find yourself in what I call a “spinning class”—going nowhere fast—and your teen is throwing one punch after another, it’s time to move into “setting boundaries.” It’s time to stop engaging. Set a boundary and do not discuss the topic anymore. Change the subject, ignore the comments and walk away.

It’s hard to simply walk away when someone is yelling mean things at you. But if there is no one to engage in an argument, the battle stops. First, you must be calm. Then set the boundary. You might say, “I am not going to discuss this with you anymore. This is what it is, and the discussion is over.” Then do not discuss it anymore, do not justify your position. When you get into explaining your decision, you open it back up for discussion. Parents tend to want to justify themselves because they don’t want to feel bad about their teen not liking them. You have to be okay with your teen not always liking you.

So first put yourselves in your teen’s shoes to truly understand his or her point of view and so that your teen will feel heard. If the conversation still goes sour, set a boundary. Your teen will more willingly adhere to your rules after feeling heard. Although your relationship with your teen might get worse before it gets better, eventually it will shift. And when it does, it will be a win-win situation. You just have to be the first one to get out of the rink.

Author's Bio: 

Debra Beck, Author of award winning book My Feet Aren't Ugly, A girl's guide to loving herself from the inside out,

She is a devoted mentor for parents and teens. Parents who are looking for the tools to help them guide their teens, while maintaining a close relationship. Also mentoring teens to develop the tools they need to become confident, secure and independent young adults.

Debra mentors through her experiences because she once was a tormented teen and a worried parent. This allows her to mentor through her heart.