Arguing with your parents as a teenager trains you to reject peer pressure. University of Virginia researchers observed more than 150 13-year-olds as they disputed issues like grades and chores with their mothers. Checking back in with the teens several years later, they discovered that those who had argued the longest and most convincingly—without yelling or whining—were also 40 percent less likely to have accepted offers of drugs and alcohol than the teens who were required to simply obey their mothers. Study author Joseph P. Allen says constructive debates with parents are “a critical training ground” for independent decision-making.
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