How to Change Your Parent's Mind

Sit your mom down and look her in the eyes during a serious conversation.
... Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images

You've begged and pleaded, asking mom and dad to change their mind. Despite all of your efforts you still have the same old curfew or aren't allowed to go out on a date with the cute guy from the coffee house. How can you change your parent's mind? Even though you won't get your way all of the time, you have a better chance if you enter into the negotiations with a mature attitude.

1 Have a Goal

Obviously there's something that you want your parents to change their minds about, but what is it specifically? Before starting out this type of challenging conversation, set a goal for what you will get out of it, suggests the article "Talking to Your Parents -- Or Other Adults" on the TeensHealth website. For example, if mom and dad say no to you going on a beach vacation with friends your goal would seem to be to get permission to go to the beach. But if you dig deeper, you can set a goal that gets to the heart of the matter such as showing mom and dad that you're trustworthy and make them realize that you're a mature decision maker. Use your goal as a discussion starter, leading the conversation by saying what you want to get out of it.

2 Find Your Feelings

It's unlikely that you want to change your parents' minds just for the fun of it. There's a reason why you want to get your point across, and that likely comes from your feelings about a certain subject. Look inward and identify your feelings on the issue at hand. For example, your parents won't let you go to the after-prom party, even though you've never given them a reason not to trust you. Think about what bothers you about this situation. Maybe you're frustrated that no matter how dependable you are, they still won't trust your judgment? Tell your parents how you really feel. This shows the mature thought process that you are using and may make them see the issue in a different light.

3 Emotional Switch

Going into a conversation with your war face on won't help you win mom and dad's approval. Starting from a place of anger will only negatively charge your discussion and possibly make your parents less likely to change their minds. Coming into a serious conversation with irritation or anger is likely to get a bad result, according to behavior change expert Joseph Grenny in his article "How to Speak Up Without Causing a Blow-Up" for Psychology Today. Instead of looking at your parents as the enemy or mean ogres, try to see the issue from their point of view. This will help you to switch your emotions to a more positive place and carry on a mature, adult-like conversation.

4 Invite Disagreement

While you don't want to give mom and dad ideas for turning you down, starting a two-way dialogue that includes all of the issues at hand shows that you're thinking on an adult level. The more that your parents see your maturity, the more likely it is that they'll give your ideas a chance and change their minds. After you give your side, ask mom and dad what they think. Let them speak, and truly listen to what they are saying. Counter their points and reassure them. For example, mom and dad said no to your date with the waiter from your local pizza parlor. Ask them why and if they respond that they don't know him and neither do you, tell them, "Yes, you're right. That's why I want him to come home with me for a family dinner first."

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.