How to talk to your parents like an adult, avoid arguments, and actually be heard

No matter how old you get, talking to your parents can often feel, well, strained to put it mildly.  Part of it is to do with having completely different mindsets. What makes sense to you can seem completely foreign to them simply because it was not a possibility when they were your age.


Don’t be scared

You might be worried about your parents’ reaction to whatever you want to discuss with them. As a result, you might want to avoid speaking about it entirely.

Know who you want to speak to

Maybe it’s better to discuss your subject with your mum first, or you’d feel more comfortable talking to your dad about it. If you have a parent who gets mad quickly, and the other is calmer, then speak to the calmer one first and get them on your side before you speak to the other parent.

Choose your time wisely

You’re less likely to get the outcome you’re looking for when the person you’re talking to is feeling stressed or busy. Find a moment to schedule a time and place for your talk. That way, you will have your parents’ undivided attention and they will come prepared to listen to what you have to say.

Come prepared

Know what it is you want to say, and how to say it. Maybe you think it’s best to dive straight into the subject, or maybe you want to talk about lighter, less serious things first. Whichever way you want to go about it, writing down what you want to say will help. Start off your conversation by stating what you want the outcome to be – if you want advice or permission, or simply for them to listen.

Be honest

This is the best time to be completely honest with your parents. If you lie to them when you’re having a serious discussion, they might be less likely to believe you about anything in the future. Lying, or withholding the truth when they’re trying to treat you like an adult, will make them less likely to trust you the next time you want to talk to them.

It’s not an argument

Chances are, your parents will not see your point of view at first. They will have points to make against yours, and they might get upset. Pausing, absorbing what they’re saying, repeating it back to them, and empathizing with their concerns will help them see you as the mature person you are. Acknowledge their opinions, but ask that they respect yours, too.

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