For Teens: How to Talk To Your Parents
- Choose the
right time. It’s not a good time when they walk in the
door. They need time to unwind and relax before they’re able to
communicate with you.
- If you’re really not sure when a good time is, ask them!
- Many times it’s a good time to break the routine. Ask them to
leave the house, go for a soda, a walk or a drive.
- Tell them it’s important that you talk about this. Sometimes parents don’t realize the
importance of the problem.
- Parents need to know you’re okay. Let them know so that
they’re not distracted by the problem and make more of it than it really is. If you’re NOT okay, tell them
and don’t worry about time and place. Your safety is most important.
- Don’t play “mind games” with them. Be straight forward and
- In general, moms want peace and dads want to fix the
problem. Let them know that you just need them to listen (or whatever it is that you need from
- When discussing emotional issues, don’t use accusing words such as
‘should be’ or ‘have to’. Especially with dads, remember that their heart and their brains are not always
on the same page.
- Don’t talk for too long, especially for the first few
times. Let them decide when their brain is full. While you might feel really good getting a few
things off your chest, it might really exhaust your parents if you go on too long.
- Give them time to think and speak. You might be surprising
them with the information you’re giving them, or they might need time to think through what you’re
asking. Give them some time.
- Be open and honest. DO NOT communicate by using hints or
broad terms such as “everything”, “nothing” or “something”.
- Don’t expect them to know how you feel. It’s been awhile
since they were your age.
- Know what you want or need. When you communicate this to your
parents, use terms such as “I want…” or “I would like….”
- Don’t assume what your parents think. Ask them. You
might be surprised.
- It is unlikely (and probably unhealthy) for one person to fulfill
all of your emotional needs. Remember to create other balanced and
positive relationships in your life with your siblings, extended family, friends, trusted adults along with
Now, get out there and be AWESOME!!