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Brighten a bad relationship with your parents


 
It’s pretty common for tweens and teens to feud with their family members during puberty and beyond. But when spats go from blue-moon occurrences to everyday affairs, you risk sacrificing one of the most important relationships a girl can have: the one between you and your parents.
 
Sure, they might seem old-fashioned, uber dorky and ridiculously restrictive now, but beneath all the angst and ages-old arguments, we’re betting they’re just as cool as you are (and that’s pretty darn cool, babe!). Read on for seven surefire ways to sweeten any sour family sitch.
 
Apologize. Everyone likes to think they’re right in a sticky situation, but the truth is that sometimes you’re wrong…and sometimes, everybody is wrong. Even if you still stand by that stunt you pulled last Saturday, apologize to your parents for breaking curfew. You didn’t mean to make them worry, right? They’ll appreciate the gesture, we promise.
 
Find common ground. There must be something you and your parents would enjoy doing together, whether it’s heading to the mall, catching at flick at the movies or ordering in Chinese. Call a ceasefire and let yourself have fun. You’ll be able to forget all about your squabble, and you’ll see just how great hanging out with your parents can be when you aren’t bickering.
 
Bite your tongue. Sometimes Mom ‘n’ Dad can get on your very last nerve, and you can’t stop yourself from snapping over their radio station of choice or how they can’t help but embarrass you in front of your friends. Wanna know a secret? M&D don’t mean to drive you mad, and when you get angry with them for their behavior, they get offended. Do ‘em a favor and zip those lips, even if it’s just for a day. Spirits will soar all around when they aren’t walking on eggshells, and you aren’t getting huffy.
 
Write a letter. Can’t have a convo without exploding? It’s time to put pen to paper and air your grievances the old-fashioned way. Do your best to explain how their actions make you feel, and suggest things that they could to make the situation better. This isn’t all one-sided, though: You need to find some middle ground, too.
 
Take on some responsibility. If you’re searching for a little independence and appreciation, doing chores unasked is a great way to get it. Taking care of the little things that your parents usually tend to before or after school can make a huge difference. Try making your sibs’ lunch one morning before Mom gets downstairs, or putting in a load of laundry and taking the dog out before Dad has to ask. They’ll notice your actions and reward you for them.
 
Compromise. You want to dress in head-to-toe black, but Mom is aghast at your Goth appearance. There’s no reason you can’t both be happy. Maybe you can wear what she picks out when you go out to dinner or to church on Sunday morning. Maybe you can stick to the black clothes but ditch the heavy makeup. Bargain until you come to a deal that makes you both reasonably happy, and then agree not to complain about the outcome.
 
10 things. It’s so easy to focus on the things your parents do that drive you nuts, but when was the last time you considered the positives? Sit down, by yourself or with the entire family, and write out a list of 10 things you love about each individual. Maybe it’s Mom’s cookies or the sweet notes Dad puts in your backpack. It doesn’t matter how big or small the item is. It all counts!
 
Weigh in: What do you think is the best way to end a fight between you and your family members?

BY BRITTANY TAYLOR ON 5/18/2011 8:00:00 AM

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