I used to love chatting with my parents about what’s going on with friends or at school, but now that I’m a teenager the things going on in my life have gotten more mature and awkward to talk to them about. I mean, saying I think a boy is cute is fine, but what about when I feel pressured to do something I don’t want to do, or I’m confused about something I noticed with my body? I sort of want to talk to my mom about it, but at the same it’s sort of weird and I’m afraid she might freak out or I might get in trouble.
Every teen has faced this dilemma about whether or not they can tell their parents everything, and it can be hard to decide. But no matter what other people tell us to do, how can we decide whether or not to really tell our parents anything?
I have a really good relationship with my parents, and while I don’t feel like I need to tell themeverything, I think communicating and staying on the same page is so important. And while there are no defined rules about what you should or shouldn’t tell your parents, I have a few guidelines for how be open without giving TMI.
- Ask your parents what they want to know. A few years ago, I sat down with my parents and asked them if they would want me to tell them some personal things that I knew would probably happen as I got older. Different parents have different views on this, so finding out what your parents would want to know beforehand is really helpful.
- If you’re hurt or in danger, speak up. Harmless little things don’t always need to be shared, but you should definitely tell a parent if you think that something bad has or may happen to you or someone else – they may not be happy about what they hear but they will be able to help you.
- Be open but calm. Starting off a tricky conversation by saying “Hey, I have a quick thing I needed some advice on, do you have a few minutes?” is a casual way to reach out but not make your parents get worried.
- Be responsible. If you’re responsible and have a good relationship with your parents, then they’ll trust you to make good decisions. This trust will both strengthen your family and make parents less likely to panic when you talk to them about things going on in your life that they may not love or approve.
- Honesty Rocks. Keeping things from your parents is a recipe for disaster and so not worth it. If you consistently talk to them about what’s up in your life, you’ll stay connected, trusted and supported through all the rocky points and will always feel comfortable going to your parents when you need them.
While you don’t always have to tell your parents every little thing, you certainly can – and will benefit from it, too! So connected with your parents – it will go a long way for all of you.
Last reviewed Nov 24., 2014.