Five Steps to Negotiating with Parents and Carers

There are times when we all disagree with our parents or carers, but the way to get them to see your point of view isn't by flying off the handle. Check out our top negotiation tips.

1) Plan ahead 

If you want to have a serious conversation, find the right time and place to talk** - don’t just spring it on someone. Mention that you’d like to talk about your curfew, grades, money, or whatever is on your mind. Then suggest a time later in the day or the week when you’ll both be relaxed and able to concentrate. 

2) No tantrums 

Nothing says ‘don’t listen to me’ like a screaming match. Try and keep your cool if you have something important to discuss. If things start getting heated, take a break and talk again later.

3) Do your homework 

Not the kind your teacher gives, although doing that might earn you some extra points as well! No, we mean think about what you’re going to say before you talk to your family. Want to extend your curfew? Bring the night bus schedule with you so that you can show your parents you have a way of getting home if they let you stay out late. Want to go away for a weekend with some friends? Show them where you’re going to stay and how you’re going to get there. 

4) Be prepared to compromise 

In a perfect world, you’ll dazzle them with how prepared and calm you are and they’ll give you everything you ask for. This rarely happens, alas. If you’re asking to stay out until 2am and your current curfew is 11pm, remember that 12.30am is still a pretty decent extension.

5) Always keep your end of the bargain 

If you promise you’ll do the dishes then make sure you do it. If you say you’ll be home at 10pm, don’t walk in at 10 past. It might be small, but it undermines your credibility and will make people think twice when you promise something in the future.

Had a bit of a run-in with a relative lately? Check out our advice on fixing a fall out.