Disponible en / Available in: Español
In this new capsule we will talk to Rosario Dorador, psychologist of the Cystic Fibrosis Balearic Association about “Adolescents with Cystic Fibrosis: conflicts and solutions”.
Dealing with conflict during adolescence
Adolescence is not an easy time… especially if you have Cystic Fibrosis.
Our Ibiza psychologist, Rosario Dorador, talks to us about some of the conflicts that can occur at this stage and various tools for dealing with them. How can we overcome a situation in which hormones come to the fore in adolescence and are combined with the obligations involved in a serious illness such as Cystic Fibrosis?
The affective references of childhood are lost.
Rosario tells us that their parents cease to be their reference in adolescence, and they start to look for their own references. Everything they knew from the previous stage is suddenly no longer useful to them.
These obligations that they must carry out, in terms of the treatment of Cystic Fibrosis, can lead to conflict as they rebel and do not want to carry them out.
Not wanting to take medication or do physiotherapy is a serious situation that creates moments of tension within the family.
The powerlessness of parents
Parents then feel powerless in the face of their adolescent son’s or daughter’s position.
Conflicts always arise in adolescence, whether there is an illness involved or not, as the emotional reference points are no longer the father and mother, but people from their social environment or even a family member who is very close to them. It can also be a teacher, counsellor or even a psychologist who can help them at certain points in their adolescence.
You have to know how to choose the right battles to fight.
Parents need to know which battles to fight and which not to fight. Parents must have a lot of flexibility, patience and a lot of good humor, which helps enormously to take the heat out of things and be very firm on the important things.
Medication is one of the things that must be fought for because of its importance. Here parents must be inflexible. Other things such as keeping their rooms tidy, showering more or less frequently or doing their homework may not be worth fighting so hard for.
Dialogue as a basic pillar
Dialogue at this stage of their life is a basic pillar, but it should have been encouraged and developed during childhood.
Spending time together as a family, such as going on outings, trips, or meetings where each member tells the story of their day is the best way to prepare for the adolescent phase, as dialogue had been built into the family routine.
If this has not been worked on before, when adolescence arrives, interaction becomes difficult when problems arise.
What happens when they withdraw into themselves and don’t want to talk?
Adolescents often do not want to talk to their parents about what is happening to them. If the basis of dialogue has been worked on since childhood, parents may have some leeway to manage the situation.
In case the adolescent withdraws into him/herself and does not want to talk to anyone, it is important to negotiate from his/her autonomy, i.e., parents should not be behind the son or daughter when it comes to taking medication, for example, but they can help in this process by organizing the pill box.
Promoting parental availability
That is, adolescents must know that their parents will be there for them when they need it and when they are not fulfilling their obligations. Parents should always be available when the son or daughter decides they want to tell them something, even if it is something inconsequential.
At that moment always listen and do not tell them to tell you later. If they ask for help with anything, it is good to offer it to them to strengthen their bond of trust and so that, in the future, when they have more important things to tell, they will do so knowing that their parents will want to listen to them.