Perhaps you’ve got into some sort of trouble, and you need some tips for breaking bad news to your parents. No worries, I can help you out! I’ve been there myself before, regardless that I wasn’t a troublemaker, to say the least. Life can happen, and even when things aren’t your fault, a bad situation can still result. Or, even if you’ve made a recent bad choice and have to break the bad news to your parents, there are some tips for breaking bad news to them, and anyone else, that can help make it easier. Check these out and remember them next time you get a bout of bad news you have to share with someone, especially your parents.
1. Pick a Good Time
One of the most important tips for breaking bad news to your parents, or anyone else, is to wait for a good time. The mornings right before school or on the way out the door are not the time to tell them! Wait until you can all sit down and talk. They’ll be less likely to get upset about what happened, and not be upset that you picked an inconvenient time to tell them.
2. Don’t Wait Too Long
Even though you should wait for a good time, you shouldn’t wait too long. Doing so can really make things worse, especially if they find out before you tell them. It can also cause you more stress, and you’re just procrastinating, which doesn’t get anything accomplished. A good timeline is to wait no longer than one day, and try to do it after they’re home from work and have had time to unwind for a bit.
3. Ask Them to Talk
It’s best not to blurt out what happened, but be mature about it. Ask them if you can sit down and talk to them, and be sure you sit when you do talk. It takes away defensive mechanisms people tend to throw up when someone is standing over them. Asking them to talk will not only impress them that you’re being adult, but also prepare them that it’s something important you want to discuss.
4. Be 100% Honest
It might seem tempting to lie about some form of the bad news, to prevent it from sounding as bad as it really is. Don’t do this! Just get it all out on the table. You’ll feel much better, and the situation can be handled more effectively. They’ll also be able to help you better if they know the whole truth. Besides, honesty is always the best policy. One lie always leads to another, and another, and another.
5. Don’t Yell
Your parents will most likely get upset, and they may raise their voices. Try your best not to raise yours. They will appreciate that you’re staying calm, and it will make them less defensive in the long run if you act sorry, not defensive by yelling.
6. Don’t Make Excuses
If you’ve messed up, or just found yourself in a bad situation, don’t make excuses. Own up to it, even if it’s not your fault. Making excuses only makes you seem more childish, and won’t get you anywhere.
7. Ask for Forgiveness and Acceptance
The best thing you can do when breaking bad news to your parents is to first act truly sorry, and secondly, ask for their forgiveness and acceptance. Telling them you’re sorry and that you hope they can forgive you is one of the most important ways to help the situation. Then, ask them to help you and accept that you can’t change it, but that you’d like their help and advice to proceed forward.
I promise these tips for breaking bad news to your parents are the most effective ones you can make, even if they’re also the hardest. If you’ve ever broken bad news to your parents, what tips do you have?