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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.
And you mentioned, Kirsty, there was something that you wanted to talk about today in particular. There was actually, yes. I wanted to speak about the activities currently that Jack’s doing. I think we should be doing some family activities together. I don’t think it’s healthy for Jack to be sitting in his room playing computer games day in, day out. I think he should be going out with his friends, interacting. OK. So it sounds like the kind of social side of things is quite important from your perspective, Kirsty. I think so, yes. Jack, I know we talked about that you actually quite like the computer games and you find that that is something that’s important to you. Well, yeah, it is social.
I talk to my friend Jamie on it all the time. We play online. Because that was something you said. I don’t understand computer games. But apparently, it’s a way you can play together. So you’re talking to him at the same time as playing. Is that what you meant by it? Me and Jamie play all the time. But it sounds like that is something that maybe is kind of not quite as big a thing for you. Well, I think he should be interacting with people. You know, why can’t he meet Jamie? Why can’t he go and play tennis with him? What’s your view, Pete? Well, yeah, I agree. I don’t think it’s, it’s not a healthy thing to be doing.
I mean, he’s staying in his room all the time and playing on the computer. I know busy with college and there’s not maybe so much time for cricket and tennis what we used to see him doing more, But. don’t think it helps. OK. So it sounds like kind of different perspectives here, where actually you’re saying, Jack, that you find it does help to do the computer games. Yeah. What do you find is, what you get out of it? Well, I do enough sports and stuff at college, because I’m doing a sports course. And it’s just nice to relax. And it is interacting with my friends, because my friend’s on it. And we play together. OK.
So actually, it’s the social thing and relaxing as well. Yeah. Yeah. But I can appreciate that, actually, you have house rules. And you feel that certain things are better or not to do. So I wonder if is there way of us kind of coming to a middle ground here, thinking about what you would find OK for Jack to be doing with his time? Well, I do think we should maintain the house rules and that there shouldn’t be any computer games during the week, but if he’s willing to go to and meet Jamie and just get out to the house for a period of time, you know? So meeting Jamie, that sounds like something you’d quite like to do. Mhm.
But it also sounds like the computer games, some bit of computer gaming would be something you’d find- It’s something I enjoy. The whole part of this is so that I can do stuff that I enjoy again. And that’s what I like doing. And I guess that is the idea in BA, that the things that Jack enjoys are going to be the things that boost his mood but is about working out how that’s going to fit in the family. So it sounds like meeting Jamie’s a possibility and something that we could definitely think about planning in. And maybe you guys could help with making that possible. Yeah.
Is there any kind of scope or leeway with the computer gaming, any other way of thinking about it? Well, there would be, yes, if he went to Jamie’s house. OK. But there is the issue of babysitting. But I can get around that. I could leave work early or get my sister to help out. Yeah. We could certainly look at that. So would you be happy if, say, Jack went to Jamie’s and did some Minecraft or whatever it is that you do, but that was part of going over and seeing him as well and getting out of the house? Yeah, as long as he went over to his, yes, and he was interacting. Yeah. OK. I think that would work.
And you would be happy with that, Pete, as well? Yeah, I think so. That sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it, getting you out and seeing Jamie over at his? Yeah. You look pretty pleased with that, Jack. Does that sound OK to you? Yeah. OK. So sounds like we’ve got a bit of a plan there then.

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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