How Do You Talk to Your Parents: Getting Them to Understand
You Have a Problem
Presenting Your Case
Ok, you have a problem. You want to ask your parents for advice and you are afraid they will show up as school and try to solve the whole thing for you. How do you get them to understand that you're in middle or high school and you have to handle things yourself?
Well, that's two things to deal with.
First, sit your parent or parents down and tell them that you would like to talk to them about something. You want to handle it, but you want to do it right. That tells them that you are trying to be independent. It also tells them that you value their opinions. Go ahead and tell them the problem. LISTEN to what they have to say. Think about what they say. Let them know that if things don't work out, you will come back and try again.
You are listening and making decisions, but you are also telling them that you won't shut them out. You know they will ask you the next day how things went. Be prepared to tell them. Open lines of communication will help you to become independent and will help your parents let you. They will always be the parent and always have the final say, but at least they will be aware that you are trying to take responsibility and act grown-up. Give it a try. What have you got to lose?
You lose nothing by listening, but you might gain some perspective. They will look at your problem from an adult angle. They will give you constructive ways to handle it. Be prepared for them to want to fight this battle for you. You are going to have to stand firm if you want to handle this on your own.
There is much to gain from this. You have made your parents aware of a problem. They won’t be hearing it from someone else. They will see that you are trying to handle it yourself and are asking them for advice. This means you respect them and they will respect you. There will be follow-up but that is good. They will see that you are capable of tackling difficult things and will be there if you still need them.
Shutting them out, means they will be blindsided if the issue escalates. They will be angry that you didn’t tell them there was a problem. It will cause the whole thing to be a confrontation instead of a conversation. They may see themselves as unsuccessful because you didn’t feel you could come to them. Future problems will become confrontations and your actions will be suspect.
Talking and listening is a much better way for everyone. Choose the right time to talk to them. Don’t blurt something out at the dinner table. Then you have other family members leaping in with their advice and Mom’s and Dad’s will get lost. Approach them and ask if you can get their opinion. They will be more than happy to accommodate. Talk to them together whenever possible. Let them both know what is going on. It helps to have your own team.