Information Centre

How to talk so parents will listen

Communication Family Support from family and friends Young People

As we know, talking and listening doesn’t always go to plan. Emotions and past experiences can get in the way.

Will your parents take you seriously and believe what you say? A lot depends on your parent and your relationship with them. Some parents are easy to talk to, some are good listeners, and some are harder to talk to.However, communication is a two-way street, the way you talk can influence how well a parent listens and understands you.

Guidelines to consider when talking to parents

  • 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
  • Be honest. 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
  • Use a tone that’s friendly and respectful. It makes it more likely parents will listen and take what you say seriously. It also makes it more likely that they’ll talk to you in the same way

What If Talking to your Parents Doesn’t Go to Plan?

What if you really need your parents to be there for you but they can’t? Some parents are going through hard times of their own. Others just can’t be available in the ways you might need. Others have a tough time being flexible.If you can’t talk to your parent, seek out other adults you can trust. Find a relative, a teacher, or a trusted adult who will listen, understand and care. Then try to follow all the tips above to get the most from your conversation with that person.Acting respectfully demonstrates maturity. Give these tips a try and hopefully you will get the support you need.

If you would like professional support with anything you are going through turn2me provides free, confidential online supports for young people and adults in the Republic of Ireland.

  • Peer support – A free and safe space where you can find and give support by connecting with other people who have been through similar experiences.
  • Group support -Facilitated by a mental health professional, support groups are a safe space to connect with others and share solutions and coping strategies on a variety of mental health topics.
  • Counselling – Support for whatever you are going through, this is a safe space to talk with a professional counsellor to help you understand your feelings and work together to develop the tools you need to get through tough times.