Tough Stuff

How to talk to your parents after a big fight

So you had a fight with your parents. It happens to the best of us. Whether it was something huge or something small that escalated, you *can* cut through the awkward silence and get back to happy—fast. Even better? Sometimes, big blowouts can lead to breakthroughs. Read on...

Step 1: Let it simmer down. 
Right after the fight, step away and give yourself time to calm down. It can be tempting to try to work everything out right away, but time is essential when it comes to gathering your thoughts and chilling out a little. Take a nap or go on a walk to give yourself some time to calm down before the big talk you *know* is coming. 

Step 2: Say the magic word.
You're sorry. You know you're sorry. Even if you're not explicitly sorry for what you did, you're sorry for upsetting your parents (otherwise you wouldn't be reading this right now!)—so say it. It's definitely the first step in having a productive conversation.

Step 3: Try to understand.
Ask your parents to explain their point of view, then actually listen and try to understand where they’re coming from. Once they've had the chance to talk, calmly explain your point of view and how you feel. You both might be surprised to hear the other's motivations for their actions. Warning: If it seems like this step is turning back into a fight, repeat Step One.

Step 4: Come to a compromise.
Find a middle ground and try to agree on it. You might not totally get your way, but you have to trust that your parents have your best interests at heart. At the same time, though, don't be afraid to stand up for yourself—especially if you feel you're being treated unfairly.

Step 5: Move On.
Forgive and forget—and mean it. Holding onto grudges and bringing the fight back up next time things get tense is definitely not the way to go. Hug it out, then do something fun together (like watching a movie) to get rid of any lingering tensions. Talking it to death is also not a great move. When it's over, let it be over.

A fight might seem like it’s the end of the world, but everything will get better with time…don’t stress it. Tell us how you handle parent issues in the comments below.


by Chrstina Mattera | 8/29/2019