There are a lot of tough topics you may want to talk to your parents about. From drinking alcohol and DUIs to sex, drug use, and even your grades, it can be hard to figure out how to talk to a parent about difficult things that are on your mind.
Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it! Don’t avoid difficult conversations with your parents. You can get support and you may receive useful advice. When you do it right, it will bring you closer together instead of pulling you apart.
Talk About Other Stuff a Lot
Talking about difficult topics with your parents isn’t easy, but it is even more difficult if you don’t talk about other things either! Only when you feel close to your parents will you feel comfortable enough to bring up something that’s hard to talk about, which means finding ways to connect with your mom and dad. That way, when it’s time to talk about hard stuff, you already have built a foundation for having difficult conversations.
A few things you can talk about with your parents before talking about tough topics include:
- A new song or band you’re into
- Your friends and teachers
- Something you heard about in the news
- Details about your family history
- An upcoming test or competition
The more comfortable you get talking to your parents about these kinds of topics, the easier it is to talk about hard stuff when the time comes.
Start With Something Small
If you are able to talk to your parents about the topics listed above, but you’re still worried about bringing up more serious topics, consider bringing up something small to begin with.
For example, bring up something you learned about drugs in class or talk about an assignment you had trouble with instead of bringing up the bad grade you have in math class. Starting a smaller conversation can help you gauge how your parents might react if you talk about something more serious. It also gives you a chance to get more comfortable talking about difficult topics.
Know What You Want To Get Out of the Conversation
When you are ready to bring up the serious stuff, it helps to prepare a little bit ahead of time. It’s possible that you may get frustrated or your parents may get frustrated, so it helps to know about the psychology behind the behavior of others.
You might worry about how your parents will react, but it’s also important to think about how you’re going to feel after the conversation went, no matter how they react. Do your best to make sure it goes as well as possible by knowing what you want to get out of the conversation.
If you want your parent to listen, if you want them to provide you with advice, or if you are looking for understanding and support, just ask! Let them know you want to talk about something hard and what you want from the conversation and you’re more likely to get it.
Try Writing a Letter
If you’re really struggling to communicate difficult feelings or a tough situation, try writing a letter first.
When you write a letter, you get the chance to collect your thoughts and think about how you might want to describe what you want to talk about.
If you’re still finding it difficult to talk, you can even give the letter to your mom or dad. This puts the ball in their court to start the conversation so you don’t have to, and it gives you a chance to tell them how you feel without them interrupting.
Get Support From Another Adult
If you’re struggling to talk to your parents about something difficult, or if you’ve tried and it hasn’t gone well, you shouldn’t give up. Instead, find a trusted adult to talk to.
That adult might be a teacher, it could be another family member, or it could be a friend’s parent. No matter who it is, talk to that person about hard stuff, and let them know you struggle to talk to your own parents. They can provide you with support during a tough time, and they may be able to help you work on your relationship with your mom and dad.
Just because a topic is tough doesn’t mean you shouldn’t talk about it. As a matter fact, it’s the perfect reason to talk! With these tips, you can approach any tough topics with your parents with confidence.