Does talking to your parents sometimes feel like one of the scariest things on earth? You probably talk to friends way more than you talk to your parents. That’s natural. Even if you and your parents have a great relationship, you want to find your own path and make your own choices. Still, most of us want a parent’s help, advice, and support at times. But talking to the adults in your life can seem difficult or even scary — especially when it comes to certain subjects. Here are some tips to make it easier.
Find something trivial to chat about each day. Talk about how your team did at the track meet. Share something one of your teachers said. Even small talk about what’s for dinner can keep your relationship strong and comfortable.
Know what you want from the conversation. It takes maturity to figure out what you want to get out of a conversation. (Most adults aren’t so good at this!) What you hope to achieve might be a guide to get back on track, encouragement, help or permission.
Identify your feelings. Things like personal feelings or sex are awkward to discuss with anyone, let alone a parent. It’s natural to be nervous when talking about sensitive topics. Recognize how you’re feeling — for example, maybe you’re worried that telling parents about a problem will make them disappointed or upset. But instead of letting those feelings stop you from talking, put them into words as part of the conversation.
Pick a Good Time to Talk. Approach your parent when he or she isn’t busy with something else. Ask, “Can we talk? Is now a good time?” Driving in the car or going for a walk can be great opportunities to talk. If it’s hard to find a good time, say, “I need to talk to you. When is a good time?” Difficult conversations benefit from good planning. Think ahead about what you want to say or ask. Write down the most important ideas if you need to.