In this devotion, we’re talking about some practical tips on how to communicate with your parents.
Dealing with your parents, guardians or other authority figures in your life can be tough at times. It’s often easy to feel misunderstood by your parents or other authority figures in your life. Perhaps you feel like your parents aren’t in touch with reality and don’t really understand you. That’s why we’re going to give you some practical ways to improve your communication with your parents.
Communication is more than just talking
Improving your communication skills with your parents is an effective way to improve your relationship with your parents. However, communication is more than talking. Almost everyone talks to their parents. They ask them things like take me to the mall. Or perhaps they ask for money, or to spend the weekend at a friend’s house. Perhaps they complain about a curfew or a chore they have to do. These things are not effective communication with parents. Complaining, asking for things or yelling ‘hi’ as you run out the door is not communicating with your parents.
Communication is key to having a good relationship with your parents. Learning to communicate with your parents is very important. The relationship you have with your parents will be one of the longest relationships you will have. Your friends may change when you go to college, but your parents will remain your parents for the rest of your life. Learning to communicate effectively with your parents is important because your parents will be a lasting relationship in your life.
Communication helps re-negotiate effectively.
Maybe you wish that your parents treated you more like an adult. Or perhaps you wish that you were able to get your point across to your parents better. Here are a few tips on how to talk to your parents about what is bugging you.
If you’re wanting to talk to your parents about a rule that you’d like to see changed, there are more effective ways than just complaining to your parents.
- Look at your history. You shouldn’t expect more freedoms to be given to you if you haven’t done well under your parent’s current rules. Building trust with your parents takes time. If you’re consistently home late or not doing your homework or chores then you shouldn’t expect your parents to respond well to your request for changing a rule. Instead, you should begin doing things that prove to your parents that you are responsible. If you’re going to be late, even ten minutes, call your parents. If you have chores, do them. If you do these types of things, you begin to show your parents that you are responsible. Then, when you come to them with a request for a new freedom or responsibility, they’ll be much more likely to grant it.
Galatians 6:9 – Don’t get tired of helping others. You will be rewarded when the time is right if you don’t give up (CEV)
- Don’t be demanding. When you are communicating with your parents, don’t go into the conversation with a list of demands. Instead be thankful. Be grateful for all your parents do for you. When you enter a conversation being grateful and showing your parents respect, you’ll be surprised at how much better the conversation goes.
- Think about your approach. If you’re requesting a new freedom or responsibility, you should give your parents good reasons why you’re ready for the freedom. An example of this would be: I deserve to stay out an hour later on Friday nights because I’ve been home on time every night for the past month. You could point out that you’ve gotten all A’s and B’s on your report card. Also, take time to explain how you’ll handle the new freedom you’re requesting. If you’re asking for a curfew extension, mention that you’ll call them if you’re running late and keep them updated on where you’re at during the night.
- Be prepared if the answer is no. Decide to keep a good attitude regardless of what your parents say. Throwing a temper tantrum is not a good solution. If you’ll stay positive when the answer is no you show your parents that you’re starting to act like an adult. By keeping a good attitude, you are displaying maturity.
What does honor mean?
“Honor your father and mother” is the first commandment that has a promise attached to it, namely, “so you will live well and have a long life.” – Eph 6:2-3 (Message)
What does it mean to honor? Does it mean that you have to always agree with your parents or see eye to eye with them on everything? No. It means that you have to respect them and appreciate their place in your life. God encourages us to do this because it makes your life so much easier. If you do this, you will live well.
Appreciating your parents will help you out in the long run. It makes your life easier and gives you more freedom in the long run. It might seem kind of backwards but by following the rules instead of butting our head against them lots of time we can get more freedom.
You can get along with your parents. It might take some work and a lot of maturity, but you can do it. Choose to honor your parents, and speak well of them. You’ll be surprised at how much better your communication with them is if you stop demanding things from them, and start showing them respect.
If you’re a youth leader and you liked this devotion, we’ve got a youth group lesson outline available for download in our online resource center.