Relationship problems own the problem when both parent and child have needs/wants that are not being met.  Issues of respect, fairness, justice and responsibility are often involved.  These conflicts often lead to a power struggle. SR


Indicators of when the Relationship Owns the Problem:


Your Child/Teen Indicators:


  • When your Child/Teen is disrespectful.

  • When genuine issues of fairness come up from your Child/Teen.

  • When bitterness develops in your Child/Teen

  • When your Child/Teen is resentful


Behavioral indicators include:



        Resisting parent rules or directives.

Parent Indicators:


  • feel frustrated

  • feel angry

  • feel betrayed

  • feel resentful.


A power struggle often results in:

  • A war in which one loses and one wins, therefore nobody wins and the relationship suffers.

  • Both overloading the system and blowing a fuse.  High emotions.

  • You try to control someone/something you donít control.

  • Hurt relationships.

  • Resentment/bitterness.

For a solution to take place, the following needs to be in place:

Parent is proactive:

  1. Makes initial effort to communicate.

  2. Motivated by his/her own values for fairness, justice and harmony.

  3. Must be willing to listen to other personís perspective.

  4. Must define own position on the issue.

  5. Must value otherís solution and negotiate a mutually agreeable solution.

  6. Mutual solution is the goal of parentís communication.




Our traffic sign is now Yellow.  Yellow means Caution.  The Red and Green Lights are not working when the electricity goes out.  We have an automatic Yellow Light.  We have to have a stop and go process to work through the issues.  As a parent, your role is that of a police officer regulating traffic.  Rather than regulating cars, you will be regulating the flow of communication.  Every one is of equal value in this process of resolving relationship issues.  Your responsibility is to make sure that everyoneís rights are preserved, everyone involved gets to be heard, and that the ultimate solution is fair to all.  SR

When relationship owns the problem, we have the opportunity to help our Child/Teen experience respect from us in order to accomplish a just outcome.  It is an opportunity for them to learn respect, justice, and equality.  These problems canít be solved by one person, it requires both people involved to come together and listen, share, and negotiate a solution.  In this process, intimacy develops, solutions are much easier to fulfill, and both sides experience resolution to the problem.  Maturity in this area will result in your Child/Teen developing the skills of assertiveness, conflict resolution, and intimacy.  Parenting on Purpose is to resolve conflicts and teach conflict resolution skills by modeling them.



Skills for when Relationship owns the problem;

If you need additional help with a live Coach, you can call Earl Friesen, M.A. at (866) 471-1220