Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Help?? How to talk to parents :((

So basically its always, always, always been my absolute DREAM to go on student exchange.

I want to go on my gap year (im graduating high school this year).


I've had some discussions (...arguments) with my parents, and haven't talked to them about it in a month or two. I don't get along well with my parents, but this is something I really don't want to give up on. 


I've prepared some written sheets of the costs, possiblities for payment (e.g, me taking a loan from them, or going half/half), and I'm trying for a more mature approach but no matter how calm and maturely I begin the discussion it ends in an argument because they immidiately shut me down.


I need to talk to them about it soon, because it's just always on my mind and stressing me out- but just thinking about approaching them makes my stomach churn. Theres never a 'good time' to talk to them, theyre always stressed!! And I'm so scared of getting a final, definite no from them...


How do I approach the unapproachable and talk to them??


Re: Help?? How to talk to parents :((

Hey @holoholo
First of all, I just wanted to say how awesome it is you're going on exchange! It is really a rewarding experience that you can learn a lot from.
It's hard to approach the unapproachable, to use your excellent words, but not impossible. It is great that you've got sheets and information about costs and payment suggestions, it's good to get all the information out there so it's clearer. Another thing you could add is how other people have done with their exchanges. Give examples or "reviews" of exchanges.

When you've approached them before, have you noticed any trends? Things that are the same such as environment or time or pattern of argument. If they keep giving the same argument, finding a way to counter it.
I know it's hard not to start arguing when it's something you really want, but when you feel it coming, just take a breath, and ask them why. See if there is anything you can do to make it easier on them.

One thing you could try before you tell them is to make them feel more comfortable. For example, you could cook them dinner, clean up the house a little, something like that. It might help reduce stress that they are feeling and make for an easier conversation.

You said that you don't get along well with your parents, and that is absolutely fine, but do you think they could be nervous or worried for you?

Let us know how things go. Smiley Happy

Re: Help?? How to talk to parents :((

Hey @holoholo


I'm so sorry to hear this is causing you so much stress! It absolutely sucks when you really want something and parents just don't get it! Absolutely been there, done that! 


@N1ghtW1ng raises some excellent points about how to approach the sitch, like friend stories and reviews and how much universities value well-rounded individuals and some courses give you credit for overseas study (GOLD-MINE!), but I'd also identify what they're so concerned about. Ask them why they think it's a bad idea. And then counteract those concerns with "I feel like...". Try to put your frustration about the whole situation aside and try to meet them at their place of worries and anxieties about you going and get them to back-track into seeing reason. Is it safety? Is it that they don't like the country you want to go? First identify what it is and then come up with a plan of action!


Don't give up on something you're this passionate about, and exchange I've heard from multiple sources is an amazing experience. I'm alot better at giving advice than following it when it comes to parents, but I've seen my younger sister do this stuff and it really seems to work! 


Keep us posted! 

Re: Help?? How to talk to parents :((

Thank you both for the replies!

I just asked them today if I can talk to them tomorrow about it (so it's not like I'm ambushing them)

and they said they will, but they sounded annoyed...I'll keep updated, hopefully they hear me out and dont just shut me down right away.


Re: Help?? How to talk to parents :((

Good Luck @holoholo. We're here if you need support!


Re: Help?? How to talk to parents :((

Good luck @holoholo Smiley Happy

Re: Help?? How to talk to parents :((

Hey @holoholo! It's super cool that you want to go on exchange - I've heard from tons of people that it is really great fun and an amazing experience. You already seem to have planned it out in a lot of detail, so good on you for planning ahead!!


Some really great points have been made here about how to approach your parents, but I thought I would add that sometimes the best way to persuade parents about a decision is to 'prove' you can do it. Staying firm with your decision and maybe approaching them a few times (with different strategies as @N1ghtW1ng suggested) could help them understand that you are serious and committed to seeing this through.


Let us know how the discussion goes! All the best Smiley Happy


Re: Help?? How to talk to parents :((

Well, it didn't go well at all.

So now I'm looking at financing it myself somehow, haha...oh well. 

Thanks for the helpful comments and ideas Smiley Happy


Re: Help?? How to talk to parents :((

@holoholo I'm sad to hear they aren't being very receptive to something you're so passionate about and that i imagine could be absolutely awesome for challenging you and discovering new things about yourself (as well as having fun!).


If you're just finishing school, then i suppose you must be pretty close to 18 and i have two things to say on that point. The first one is that once you're 18 (or really 16) it's really up to you what you want to do. You have a right to do what you want with your life and live it the way you want it. The second thing is that unfortunately parents don't always get it right, they're just normal human beings who care about you a lot they have no super powers and definitely make mistakes. Sometimes they don't go about it the looking after you stuff the right way, don't understand, or just fail to see your perspective. It doesn't mean you're wrong though! 


So i guess i want to encourage you to do what you want to do and maybe think about how you can still have a healthy relationship with your parents too. How do you reckon you could go about that?