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When values don’t match up

Watch an example of how a conflict in values causes problems between a teen and his parents, along with a resolution that works for everyone.

For the purposes of the course, we’ve produced a short simulated video to illustrate how a conflict in values caused problems for Jack and his parents when planning valued activities, and how they managed to come up with a solution that worked for everyone. The video features Dr Laura Pass playing the role of a Brief BA therapist working with the family. Please note: Jack and his parents are played by actors but based on real case examples.

Teenagers are negotiating a tricky period in their lives, trying to become more independent while still living with family and not being able to make all their own decisions. It’s normal to have differences of opinion here.

Not everyone has the same values, and this tends to be a good thing- this means different roles and jobs are filled by people who get reward from them (for example, would you want to be a firefighter, vet, accountant, sports teacher, artist, news presenter, deep sea diver?). It encourages richness of life.

However, it can sometimes cause problems when those you’re close to don’t share the same values, especially when there is a difference between parents and teenagers. A lot of this is completely normal and part of growing up. The important thing is working out how young people can engage in activities they value, in line with what adults feel is safe and responsible.

Teenager vs parent view

Teenager Parent
I want to stay out late You need to get a good night’s sleep
I don’t have the same religious beliefs as my parents Going to church is important to us as a family
Spending time with Harley makes me feel better I don’t think Harley is a good influence on you
I want to get a part-time job after school to earn money You need to be at home to look after your sister after school
My phone helps me keep up to date with everything You spend way too much time on your smartphone

Dealing with depression isn’t easy and giving your teenager appropriate positive reinforcement will provide additional encouragement on this journey. For example, if your teenager is trying to do some exercise as part of increasing their activity levels, it might be a good idea to find ways to support this with rewards or acknowledgement and encouragement. Hopefully, your teenager will be rewarded for their efforts by an improvement in their mood, but it’ll also be very rewarding for them to know that you’re noticing their efforts. Supporting someone with depression is also very hard work, therefore we encourage you to notice and reward your own efforts on a regular basis.

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Understanding Depression and Low Mood in Young People

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