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Tips for Parents and Young Adults to Talking with Each Other

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For Parents:

  • Timing and atmosphere are very important. Choose a calm, unhurried, private time to talk with your child.
  • Before entering into this type of conversation, be sure you’re ready. Be calm, emotionally controlled and confident. You want to communicate to your child that you are open to discussing this topic and that you can handle whatever comes up.
  • If this is difficult for you to talk about, practice first with a friend, your spouse or in a mirror.
  • Understand that your child may not be ready to talk about this. That’s ok. Let them know that you are there for them and they can come to you if they need to talk.
  • Don’t make the talk upsetting or anxious. As much as possible, discuss this in a calm manner in an open atmosphere. This also increases the chances that your child will seek your advice in the future.


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For Young Adults:

  • 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.
  • If you feel your relationship with your parents is strained, try easing into conversations. Mention that cute thing the dog did. Talk about how well your little sister is doing in math. Chatting with parents every day not only keeps an existing relationship strong, it also can help a frayed relationship get stronger.
  • 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.
  • Be clear and direct. Be as clear as you can about what you think, feel, and want. Give details that can help parents understand your situation. They can listen better or be more helpful if they understand what you mean and what's really going on.
  • If you're always honest, a parent will be likely to believe what you say. If you sometimes hide the truth or add too much drama, parents will have a harder time believing what you tell them. If you lie, they'll find it hard to trust you.
  • Try to understand their point of view. If you have a disagreement, can you see your parents' side? If you can, say so. Telling parents you understand their views and feelings helps they be willing to see yours, too.


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