Talking to your parents about something important can seem scary and overwhelming, and thatís okay. No matter what kind of relationship you have with your parents, you still need to talk them about important issues in your life. With proper planning and going about the conversation the right way, you can reduce the fear and anxiety you may have about talking to them about an important issue or problem that youíre having.
EditSteps

EditPlanning the Conversation

  1. Plan out what you want to say before you talk to your parents. The first thing you should do before you discuss something important with your parents is figure out what you hope the gain from the conversation. Deciding on a goal you hope to achieve with the conversation can help guide the way you approach it with your parents.[1]

    • For example, the way you approach an important conversation is different if youíre asking permission to do something than it would be if you needed advice or help with something.
    • Write out what you want to say before you talk to your parents. You can bring your notes with you to make sure you donít forget anything when youíre talking to your parents.

  2. Rehearse the conversation with a friend that you trust. Try to act out the conversation with a close friend or family member that can play the role of your parents and provide helpful input. It can be helpful to have someone provide feedback, and it can calm your nerves to know that youíve prepared for the conversation as best as you can.[2]

    • Choose a friend, sibling, or family member that you know will be honest and give you feedback that can help you shape the conversation to be the most effective it can be.

  3. Choose a time and place to talk to both parents at the same time. You may feel like approaching a certain parent could help you get what you want or make the conversation easier, but if itís really important, you should include both parents. Your parents will recognize that you wanted to get input from both of them and will appreciate it, which could help the conversation go easier.[3]

    • If your parents arenít together, try to include one of them on a phone or video call.
    • Choose a time where both parents are more likely to be in a better mood or open to a conversation, like in the evening after work, or at dinner.
    • Pick a place that is appropriate for an important conversation, like the dinner table, or living room. The car or at school isnít a great idea because there will be other distractions that could derail your conversation.

EditTalking to Your Parents

  1. Take a deep breath and calm your mind before you talk to your parents. If you start the conversation stressed out or emotional, your parents may not take your thoughts seriously. Talking about important issues with your parents means you need to approach the conversation calmly and maturely, and you can focus your thoughts by controlling your breathing.[4]
  2. Start by stating the issue clearly and to the point. Show your parents that youíre serious by cutting to the chase and addressing the topic head-on. If you were engaging in small talk or talking about something else before, a direct statement like, ďSo, listen, I need to talk to you about my curfewĒ will turn the conversation to the issue you want to discuss.[5]

    • Itís okay to joke around or have a little small talk before you discuss the important issue or problem youíre having, but when it comes time to talk about it, it should be all business to show your parents how important it is.

  3. Be honest, clear, and direct in what you say to your parents. For important issues, you shouldnít beat around the bush. Once the conversation gets going, you should continue to keep a professional and clear tone as you discuss the issues. Even if the topic is unpleasant or just flat out bad, your parents will listen better and be more helpful if youíre honest and direct.[6]

    • For example, you could say something like, ďI donít feel that itís fair or appropriate for me to not be allowed to date.Ē Keep a mature and professional tone.
    • If youíre worried or scared, tell them. They need to know everything youíre thinking and feeling so they can help you.
    • Donít whine or argue with your parents if they start to get upset or hesitant. Make sure you get to say everything you want to say and donít become overly emotional.
    • If you wrote out what you wanted to say, use your notes if you start to get lost in what you want to say.

  4. Ask your parents if they have any thoughts or advice. When you have finished saying everything that you wanted to say, ask your parents what they think you should do. They will appreciate that you are asking for help and may have some helpful advice for you. Itís also an opportunity to clear up any confusion they may have because you can answer their questions if they have any.[7]

    • You could ask them, ďI know that you both have strong feelings about where I go to college, but I also feel strongly about it, and this is a great opportunity for me. Do you have any advice on what I should do?Ē
    • Communication is a two-way street, so keep the avenue open and welcome their input or advice.
    • Even if you have to discuss something negative that youíve done, you can still ask them for advice on what you can do about it.
    • Showing humility and asking for help is a sign of maturity and your parents will notice it.

  5. Understand your parentsí point of view. No matter what your parents decide or say in the discussion, you need to try to understand where they are coming from. If they get angry or deny a request, donít become angry yourself. Instead, try to see why they would make their decision and respect it, even if you donít agree with it.[8]

    • Showing your parents that you understand their viewpoint can make them more willing to see yours as well.
    • Your parents are more likely to respect your views and see you as an adult if you act maturely and keep your cool even when they donít give you your way.
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