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Q&A: My Teens Fight Over the Family Car

Teen parenting expert Rosalind Wiseman on how to intervene when siblings fight for the car keys.

Q. My two teens are always arguing over who gets to use the family car. What's the best way to handle the fights?

A. Collect all the car keys and tell them if they're going to act like they're 5, you have no choice but to treat them like they're 5. That means that until they're mature enough to stop throwing tantrums and work it out, neither one of them will drive. Because having access to a car is so important to teens, use this conflict as a way to demand they learn to negotiate civilly—an invaluable skill to have, whether in a family, the classroom, or the workplace.

Originally published in the July 2007 issue of Family Circle magazine.

 

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