Katy Perry made headlines this week when her preacher dad went on a bizarre rant calling her a “devil child” because of her music and performances and asking for people in his congregation to pray for her.
Whatever your religious, moral or ethical leanings are, it’s not easy to have a lifestyle your parents disagree with. But if you just keep rehashing the same arguments over and over, it’s going to be tough to get you parents to respect your decisions–especially if those arguments usually end in screaming matches instead of solutions or compromises.
While it seems like Katy Perry and her parents have issues that go a bit beyond our scope, we’ve compiled a few ways for you and your parents to talk over problems they may have with things you want to do–whether it’s dropping out of the marching band to play softball, joining the drama club, or, you know, becoming an international pop star. Now go forth and conquer!
Get Them In A Good MoodYou don't want to spring bad news or start a heated debate at your cousin's wedding or Thanksgiving dinner, but you do want to grab your parents when they're cheery. Did they just watch their favorite Seinfeld rerun? Did their favorite baseball team just have a huge victory? Use that time to your advantage. If you approach when they're already grumpy, you're a lot less likely to get your way--but if they're happy and calm, you have a much better chance of getting them to feel the same way about whatever it is that you want them to let you do. Source: ShutterStock
Watch Your Body LanguageSee how this girl has crossed arms and a pout? That's not going to help. She looks stubborn and close off, and her mom looks, at best, irked. Try to at least appear cool, calm, confident and comfortable, because your delivery counts just as much as your words themselves. The more high strung or petulant you look, the less they're going to see your point! Source: ShutterStock
Divide And Conquer ... Then Work TogetherWhen you're arguing with both your parents at once, it can feel like it's you against the world. Try getting them one at a time to explain your case, whether it's how joining the field hockey team won't ruin your GPA or how extending your curfew won't leave you dead in a gutter somewhere. If you can sway one of them, even a little bit, they'll be an ally when you bring it up to whichever parent is more stoic and strict. But! Make sure you don't approach it in an adversarial way. You want to look like you're all working together on a compromise--not like you're just trying to win. Capisce? Source: ShutterStock
Speak Their LanguageNo matter what the issue at hand is, your parents assume they know better because, well, they're your parents--they figure older means wiser. They may not always be the case, but it helps to use a similar tone and language as your folks (unless, of course, they're cursing and yelling) to get your point across. If you sound mature and like you understand them, your words automatically hold more weight. Try rephrasing their concerns as questions: For example, if your dad says, "That metal band you're joining is a bad influence," you can respond with, "Okay, so you think playing bass with them will lead me to make negative decisions?" The calmer you are, the calmer they'll be--and the more likely you'll be to get what you want. Source: ShutterStock
Take A BreatherIf you feel like either you or your parents are going to lose your temper, take a deep breath and tell them: "It seems like we're all getting really worked up about this. Why don't we take a break for a while and come back to this when we can all talk about this a little more calmly?" Then smile and retreat to your room, take a shower, splash your face--do whatever you need to do to collect yourself, and then come back to the conversation when you're all thinking more clearly. We bet they'll be impressed at your maturity (and grateful for the break). Source: ShutterStock
Get Outside Help If You Need ItIf you guys still aren't on the same page or even in the same book and it's a matter truly important to all of you, don't be embarrassed or ashamed to suggest a family therapist. That's why they're around. And if your folks won't go with you? Offer to go solo to gain perspective and some new communication techniques to deal with them. Chances are your insurance will cover at least part of the trip anyway. Source: ShutterStock
Have you ever had trouble getting your parents to respect your decisions? Do you think Katy Perry’s parents are out of line by talking badly about her? What ways do you get your parents to respect your decisions? Tell us in the comments!