Friday, 12 July 2013 06:27

I Find It Hard To Talk To My Parents

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I Find it Hard to Talk to my Parents



Talking with your parents can be challenging, even when you have a good relationship with them. You may often feel that your parents never listen to you or that they treat you like a child. You may feel that certain subjects are off limits because you don’t know how to communicate your thoughts to them. This is a normal reaction, as all teens at some point in their adolescent life experience this. As you move through your teenage years, you start developing your own ideas and theories which can be confronting for parents, especially when they realise that you are growing up. Lets face it; some parents have a hard time letting go; they have a hard time coming to terms with the fact that you are no longer their little child who once accepted everything they did and didn’t question their ideas (Hutchings, 2010).


It is important to understand that your parents also have feelings and emotions and are human, just like you. They make mistakes, slip up and have emotional days where their moods are up and down. They get tired and also feel offended if their ideas or suggestions are challenged or ignored. They can also get nervous and struggle with communication especially with subjects that they have not had experience with (Carr-Greg, 2005). The key is to build trust and instil confidence by opening the lines of communication with them.


Here are some suggestions to successfully open the lines of communication with your parents:


    Start by talking to your parents about everyday stuff. You will find that as you start taking to them about everyday stuff the conversations will become easier and more fluent. This will help when you need to discuss more difficult topics.Have a plan, especially when you need to discuss those more difficult topics. The plan could include an example that you have observed or heard about, your feelings about the topic and what you might do in a similar circumstance.

    It is important that you schedule a time to talk to your parents when there are no distractions. Don’t schedule a time right after your parents get home from work or when you are about to go to bed or have dinner (Witt, 2011).

      It is important to be clear and direct with your message. Convey how you feel and what you want, but try not to engage in an argument or complain. When your tone of voice is neutral and clear you will find that your parent’s tone of voice will match your tone. This may be difficult especially if you have ‘pent up anger’ or have trouble communicating clearly. In these situations it is best to release your feelings and emotions before you engage in conversation. Do some exercise, hit a pillow or listen to some calming music. If communication is not your strongest point write down what you want to say and rehearse it before you have to communicate it with your parents (Witt, 2011).

      Lastly try not to be defensive during the conversation. When you become defensive the lines of communication usually end and the conversation turns sour. It is important to be mindful of your emotional triggers  (what your parents say or do that upset you) and how they have an impact on your reactions.

    Adolescence is a period of many changes and transitions and requires patient and perseverance especially when you are trying to open the lines of communication with your parents. By giving it time and implementing these tips, you will notice that your relationship with your parents will strengthen and your ability to work through problems and issue together will improve.




    Reviewed by Kellie Bradbury M.ED. B. PSYCH  (Psychologist and Teacher)







    Carr-Greg, M. (2005). Surviving Adolescents: The must have manual for all parents: Penguin Group Publishing.


    Hutchings, M. (2010) It Will Get better: Finding your way through teen issues. Allen & Unwin Publishing.


    Witt, S. (2011). Teen talk: Parent talk: A common sense guide to raising your teenager: Collective Wisdom Publishing.



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