Have you ever talking with parent about some private topics? Hmm …
Some topics are just way too difficult to talk with parents about, agree? Some of us prefer to keep in silent. However, sometimes these topics need to be addressed no matter how tough they are.
Here are tips that can help you to talk to your parents about a tough topic such as drug or alcohol addiction.
1. Plan the talk
What do you intend to talk to your parents about?
Think about what you want to talk about. You can also write it down to make it clearer. While the conversation may not go as you plan, it may not deviate much.
As you plan the issues to address, try to anticipate how they will react so that you can know how to respond. This way, you will know how to guide the talk in the right direction and prevent misunderstandings and flare-ups.
Also, think about all the probable outcomes. What will be your parent’s response to your talk? Will it be positive or negative? Will you achieve your objectives?
Plan for each possible outcome. In case the talk does not achieve the results you expect, don’t despair since there is always the second time.
You could plan to talk to your parent again or you could seek help from other family members and friends.
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2. Be straight to the point
Tough topics may be difficult to talk about and there may be a tendency to beat around the bush.
Avoid this by going directly to the point. Do you want to talk about something your parent is doing that is making you unhappy such as drug or alcohol abuse? Then go direct to the point.
It could be that you are holding an intervention for your parent, and it is your time to raise your issues. Say exactly how you feel, how your parent’s behavior is affecting you and what you expect.
3. Pick an appropriate time
Raising an issue in the morning when your parent is already rushing to work is not a good idea.
Your parent may be too busy thinking about traffic than what you are saying. Pick an appropriate time when both of you are relaxed.
For instance, you can talk in the evening when you are washing dishes or preparing dinner. You could also talk when walking the dog or taking a drive. Just make sure that your parent is not too busy to listen to what you are about to say.
Try to remove all the distractions. Your conversation may not go well if you are talking while the TV is on or when other children are making demands.
If you want to talk about an issue such as your parent’s alcohol addiction, choose a time when your parent is sober.
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4. Avoid criticism
Yes, your parent is doing something that is affecting you.
However, criticizing their actions will not get you far. In fact, it may cause the situation to escalate and lead to defensiveness.
For instance, don’t use critical or accusatory phrases when talking such as ‘you are always’ ‘you should have’. Instead, use ‘I’. For instance, you could say, ‘I feel hurt when’ ‘I am feeling scared when’.
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Acknowledge what the person is going through instead of minimizing their pain. For instance, don’t blame your parent for turning to alcohol because of a job loss, instead, emphasize and explain that it can be a difficult situation to deal with.