Rabu, 07 Desember 2011

How to Talk to Parents

How to Talk to Parents
As little children, we need parents mostly to guide us and to control many aspects of our lives. As we grow, we need to gain a sense of mastery through independence. We assert our desires to try new experiences and make choices of our own. Friendship also becomes very important for us. We spend more time with friends and spend less time with our parents; the importance of family seems to diminish. Parents may feel rejected or hurt by our negligence. They may even blow up if they think we are challenging their parental authority. Then the struggle for autonomy, that is, being allowed to think and act independently, can be quite stressful for us. That's because we still depend on our parents to support and love us. 

Anyway, we have to admit that the existence of parents is pretty important. They love us and care about us, and we need them. They will probably be able to give us better information, advice, and support than we could get anywhere else. It helps if we can get our parents to get used to talking about personal things with us. But talking to them, indeed, can be really difficult. So do we start?

Mom, Can I Go To Pubs?
Yeah, right. Unless we’ve warmed her up a litle, this may come across like a thuderbolt from a clear blue sky, and we probably won’t get the answers we were hoping for. Here are some of the biggest reasons why we don't feel like talking to our parents about some issues like sex, relationships, puberty, and those sorts of things. How can we start a cool conversation with them?

"I'd be too embarrassed.”
Think about which parent is easier to talk with. Sometimes we are more comfortable discussing one subject with Dad and another with Mom. If we're feeling tongue-tied, start with something a little less personal. For example, "I have a friend who got her period while she was at school. She didn't know what to do!" Or use a book or a magazine as a jump off point. "I read that going steady with someone will motivate us to study and do better at school. Does that really work?" Still nervous? It's okay to say so! Break the ice with something like, "This feels weird for me to talk about it and this may be for you too, but I need to know..."

“My folks don't like to talk about this stuff."
People almost always like to talk about themselves, and we can lead them to a specific topic by asking questions about their experi¬ence, like, "What was your life like at my age?" "How old were you when your body started changing?" or "Did you ever like two guys at the same time?" It's likely that our parents have been through some of the same things that we're experiencing now. Once they're talking, we can ease the conversation toward whatever's on our mind.

"My folks will just lecture me."
Yep. This is a real fear. If this happens, let them know what they're doing. They may not even realize that they've started lecturing. Our goal is to get our questions answered and to have an opportunity to explore our thoughts and feelings on the subject. So, tell them. Let them know that we care about their views, but that what we really want is just to talk. Then hang in there and keep trying.

"My folks are too busy to talk."
We can plan our talk with our parents in advance. Just say something like "Can we have a private talk tonight?“ This will let Mom or Dad know that something is on our mind, and will give him or her a chance to finish whatever they are doing before sitting down to talk with us.

"My folks will freak out if I even bring up anything related to sex!"
If they're really going to get angry with us, we may have to turn to another dult—an aunt, a grandfather, a friend's parent, or a school counselor. Sometimes these people can be more objective than our parents. It's important that we find someone we trust other than a peer. Peers can be a great support, but adults, because of their experience, may have better access to information and perspectives about sex, puberty, relationships and other things than young people.

Talking about those issues with our parents may not always be easy, and our parents may squirm, but it is important. It's great to have an adult nearby with whom we know we can discuss any questions and concerns we may have. After all, if we hang in there and keep tryin', even talkin' with parents can be cool!

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