Don’t Be An Idiot: How To Talk With Your Parents About Your Test

 

Many students want their parents to leave them alone, then act in ways that ensure that never happens. The best way to get your parents to leave you alone is to communicate with them and let them know that you’re doing your work and that it’s going well.

If you’re thinking: “I don’t want to talk to my parents!” then you’ve missed the point. I’m not asking if you want to communicate with your parents; I’m telling you to communicate with your parents, at least if you want more freedom. You may not know how to communicate with your parents. We’ll get to that. For right now, though, I’m going to explain to you a little about why your parents act the way they do. First off, imagine you’re on a plane and there’s a lot of turbulence. Which of the following would you prefer?

1.  The pilot gets on the loudspeaker and explains what’s going on and how it will all be OK.
2.  The pilot remains silent, even after five minutes of heavy turbulence.

Which of those two makes you more comfortable? Which one has you constantly trying to get the flight attendant’s attention?

Probably, your parents care about you and want you to do well. They may have a weird way of showing it, but deep down they most likely want you to succeed. And for them, the experience of a child taking a standardized test is a lot like sitting on an airplane going through heavy turbulence.

Basically, they’re worried. Applying to college or high school is very different now than it was when they were young, so a lot of parents feel lost. To make matters worse, they’re probably hearing a lot of crap from other parents. When parents are worried, they need more information from you. The less you give them, the more worried they’ll be and the more they’ll involve themselves in your life. The more you give them, the more relaxed they’ll be. Since they can’t read your mind, you’re going to have to communicate with them.

You may not want to, but think about what you want. If it’s more free time, then act to calm your parents down. If it’s to have a mutually irritating relationship in which your refusal to share any information forces them to constantly ask you what’s going on, then by all means continue with the silent treatment.

Tell them the following (adjust slightly to fit your personality):
Mom, Dad, I know you want me to do well and that you’re nervous about the test. I’m nervous, too, and talking about the test only makes me more nervous. So I will give you a 15 minute update every Sunday and Wednesday evening about what’s going on and what I need. In return, I need to not talk about it the rest of the time. Does that sound fair?

If they don’t think it’s fair, ask why.

As a heads-up, this approach won’t work if you don’t actually study and do your work.

Do this. Watch how it helps.

And as always, do your work.

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