Worried that these sassy kids out here are a lost cause? A new study finds that teenagers who hold their own when challenged by their parents are more successful when it comes to avoiding peer pressure and its pitfalls.

From Psych Central:

Investigators discovered teens who hold their own in family discussions were better at standing up to peer influences to use drugs or alcohol. Among the best protected were teens who had learned to argue well with their moms about such topics as grades, money, household rules and friends. Arguing well was defined as trying to persuade their mothers with reasoned arguments, rather than with pressure, whining, or insults.“The healthy autonomy they’d established at home seemed to carry over into their relationships with peers,” suggested Dr. Joseph P. Allen, Hugh P. Kelly Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia, who led the study.

Researchers also say that by developing the ability to communicate with parents on a rational level, whether the parents and teens agree with each other or not, teens build safety in the parental relationship that keeps them from turning to friends as authorities instead of their parents.

The results of this study kind of make sense to me, but I have to wonder where the line is drawn. There’s logically debating your parents and then there is blatant disrespect. How much teen-parent beef is a good thing?

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