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How do I help explain to a parent that what I feel is valid after they reacted badly?

119 Answers
Last Updated: 12/20/2020 at 10:27am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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Melissa Strauss, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

I am client focused and believe everyone has a strength. I feel confident in seeing clients with generalized and social anxiety, depression and relational goals.

Top Rated Answers
March 1st, 2018 4:47pm
Maybe you could explain the effect that this feeling is having on your life - if it's a negative feeling, such as anxiety, then you could tell them about all the things it's preventing you from doing, so that they understand it better. If it's something you feel about your identity, you could try and let them know that it's not something you can change, but that you would like them to at least try and listen to you. Give them time, and they will realise the validity of your feelings now that you have pointed them out and they know to look out for them.
March 9th, 2018 5:56am
Your opinion is very valid. Just because you are young doesn’t mean your opinions are not valid. So I would start by asking why they don’t think your opinions are valid. If they say it is because you are young respond back that you have your own feelings, opinion, and personal views. If its just because they disagree with your view then explain that not every one has the same views and opinion on everything.
April 14th, 2018 10:22am
You don't have to explain anything to them, if you believe what you're saying is valid enough for you then why explain anything to them and waste your time? Life is too short, if they won't understand whatever it is you're trying to explain to them, then you need to let go and remain calm and come to an understanding that not everybody will be on board with your thinking or ideas etc. Hope this helps you! Stay strong! :)
April 15th, 2018 4:13am
Parents only have your best interests at heart. If they reacted badly you may feel it’s valid but they do not. Sit down with your parent calmly explain why you feel your valid but also get your parent to explain his or her reasons for reacting the way they have. A parent reaction could be due to an experience they have had. Sit down calmly and tell them how you feel and why you feel your point is valid but don’t do it while there angry do it when there calmness and rationality, doing it while all parties are upset is not going to produce an outcome may end up worse
April 22nd, 2018 9:56am
Parents often will be from a different time frame. Their experiences are different from others. However, if you truly believe what you have to say is important, you will have to talk it to them. Patience is the key.
April 27th, 2018 11:40pm
Nobody likes to be treated badly. Nobody. A kind word feels good while an unkind one hurts. That's just how things are, even though parents like to justify their pain inflicting actions with their good intentions. :( I'm so sorry you're having to deal with that and I hope everything works out for the best. :)
May 2nd, 2018 5:20am
Sit down calmly and show your parent that you have a perspective on the problem too. Tell them in a nice way that they should calm down and talk things out. Try to work together to fix the problem and improve each other’s mood.
May 5th, 2018 9:58pm
Try talking to them again calmly, and explain why you think this is valid. If they don't accept it or if you don't feel safe talking about it, there is no obligation to do it !
May 23rd, 2018 4:51am
Maybe you could give it some time? Wait until you have all calmed down and the mood is right to bring it up again to discuss. They may also need time to digest what you have told them. I don't know what you told them but it is possible that they were taken by surprise or shocked which is why they reacted badly, maybe they need time to take it in
May 23rd, 2018 8:54am
If you can allow some time to pass, then do so; sometimes people just need time to reflect on their own reactions & they do change their stance. If time is of essence & you need to get your parent's consent soon enough, then a heart to heart conversation is a great way to break the deadlock. But even before you approach your parent, start by genuinely looking at the situation from their standpoint, convey to them sincerely that you appreciate and value their standpoint and then if you still feel your stance is valid, seek time for a heart to heart chat. During the chat, try and put forth your point without ever ridiculing or dismissing their objections as unimportant or pointless. Make them feel valued by trying to seek their buy-in rather than it looking like you forcing them to align with your decision and try your best to avoid making it sound like it's them versus you. Try your best to arrive at a win-win if possible at least at a discussion level, even if in the end you have no choice but to go with your decision as opposed to theirs.
May 25th, 2018 3:29am
My father does this to me, and I recommend you sit down with them and have a serious talk. Tell them seriously how what they're doing makes you feel, and they should listen to you
June 27th, 2018 11:27pm
Sometimes it's difficult to talk to your parents, but if they won't listen, try writing everything down and giving it to them to read. You can also type it too. I found this extremely helpful.
July 6th, 2018 1:17am
Maybe you didn’t explain well so ask about why their reaction was bad and try to explain how you feel again.
July 26th, 2018 12:28am
I dealt with the “you’re just confused” comments from my family, I’ve been there. I would say just sit down with your parents and discuss LGBTQ+ people in general, maybe a celebrity or something, so they can warm up to the idea of having an LGBTQ+ child.
July 29th, 2018 3:12am
This is a little tricky because everyone has different kinds of parents and different kinds of relationships with them. Something that seems to work, is waiting for the atmosphere to cool down and then calmly request them to hear and listen to you first and then make their own judgment after you're done. You may explain why you feel the way you do and at times it can be helpful to let them know that their reaction hurt you and made you feel like your feelings aren't valid. It's easier said than done but it can be worth it. p.s: no matter what, remember that your feelings are always valid
August 8th, 2018 1:27pm
Tell them that you respect what they just said ( even if you don't ) but you still feel the way you feel and nothing is going to change that. Tell them that you hope from the bottom of your heart that they will love you even if they don't agree with you. xx good luck
August 9th, 2018 3:24am
Explaining to a parent or someone who’s played a big role in life something that they don’t believe you the first time is hard. I know from experience. Depending on how it is, you could try to let them cool off and then sit down and try to talk to them again. If things got heated try to see how you could avoid repeating it. Explain to them and let them see how important it is to you. Also keep in mind some things take awhile.
August 10th, 2018 1:19pm
Maybe talk to a friend of your family and make them tell your parents that may be easier than you telling it on your own
August 12th, 2018 10:08pm
Speaking honestly to a parent is the best way to connect with them, they will appreciate that your telling the truth and try to empathise with youn
August 22nd, 2018 6:03pm
It will vary from culture to culture... in some cultures, talking back to a parent is strictly taboo and sometimes one's best option is to bite one's tongue and find other outlets for one's feelings. It will also depend on the relationship between the child and the parent - some parents are more open to listening to their children than others... again it may simply be a waste of time in certain circumstances to carry on a discussion which is going to lead nowhere. It is always best in life to take a step back mentally in a heated situation and pause to reflect; putting oneself in another person's shoes is often a useful exercise... maybe spend some time writing a carefully-worded note can help, where we can express ourselves calmly and rationally... chances are the parent may also regret having lost their cool, and if there is sufficient love in the relationship, will be eager to rebuild a bridge when the opportunity presents itself.
September 16th, 2018 7:29am
My go to format was "I'm sorry this (whatever they reacted badly to) has upset you but I'm still allowed to feel what I feel even if you don't agree with my emotions, my reasons or their causes and logic. I'm not asking you to understand it, I am asking you to accept it." As a teenager and young adult there were many times the older adults didn't understand and over reacted because of it, so I found that starting with saying i just needed the acceptance of my emotions and not understanding that seemee to help. Most people try to beat around and explain the situation so people can understand when for validation it can help to start with accepting that you feel a certain way and saying that you don't expect them to understand immediately, but never leaving out that eventually they might understand. Words in the moment are very important.
September 16th, 2018 4:39pm
People who do a good job of managing emotions know that it's healthy to express their feelings — but that it matters how (and when) they express them. Because of this, they're able to react to situations in productive ways: They know they can choose the way they react instead of letting emotions influence them to do or say things they later regret. They have a sense of when it's best to speak out — and when it's better to wait before acting on, or reacting to, what they feel. They know that their reaction influences what happens next — including how other people respond to them and the way they feel about themselves.
September 21st, 2018 12:11pm
Parents are the reason we are able to have feelings, and they sacrificed more than words could say, but they are human and so are you. Everyone should feel their worth and sometimes, we dont always hear what we say and other times it will seem to come across as hurtful but how its said and how its received can often be misunderstood. As you approach your parent(s), always try to come with gentleness and love, no matter how much they messed up, adding fuel to the fire won't mend your hurt and will only become a bigger wall. We all feel and sometimes in order to show someone your pain from them, you must extend grace and forgiveness first.
November 14th, 2018 7:29pm
If a parents is to react badly to how you are feeling, explain to them If you can why you are feeling this way, and that you have told them because you are reaching out for help, that you want to do something about your situation. You don't want to be judged etc, you just want them to understand or at least try to understand your situation. Let them know how long you have been feeling this way for and that it is valid even if they don't full understand your situation, let them know that you have been struggling if this is the case and that you trust them enough to help you and not judge the situation.
December 6th, 2018 11:00pm
This can be hard but honestly just tell them that you are trying to share your feelings and trying to be honest. And all you need is there help and acceptance.
December 13th, 2018 3:28am
There is a difference between Reacting and Responding. When we are reacting no matter the person be a parent or child, their mind is actually quick to react to a situation which they are uncomfortable with. So what we experience a heated argument is basically because we couldn't comprehend the communication leading to no logical rational and reasonable answers. One should gradually learn to sink in, let the heated emotions settle down and articulate in a better positive way in a context with the way listener or receiver of those messages truly feel that it's not a tussle to prove who is right or wrong but find a truce of the debate and a solution. So when we are thinking to explain something think to respond in a way they can relate to. Be it a parent or anyone. It's not about proving a point or making sure we are the right in all aspects, it's about sharing a thought that, we all are individuals and we have differences of opinions and different ways to look at this. And you see "It's all fine that way". So articulation, communication is not so easy to quickly come to our minds when we jump to react but wait, have patience, think and not get emotionally drained by the onslaught of hurdles of hatred by ease up a bit and respond in a positive note so that everyone agrees to that stance.
January 16th, 2019 11:40am
Well, it's relative you know? think about what valid is, or what valid means really. say one person cannot see red. and you present violet color, to a normal person and to this person. normal person will see violet, that's her "valid" color but this person will see blue only, that's her "valid" so each of us, have our preferred truths, beliefs. even though beliefs are not infinite in numbers, we can choose different sets, unique sets. (and more over, we also attribute to them, different importances too) so, it's not about the parent, or child, or whom ever. it's about your beliefs, your point of view, and theirs. you can present your point of view, yeah but this doesnt imply that the recipient (your parent in this case) will also accept it as truth, or will even listen to you :D even if your parent listens, and realizes what you believe in, this doesnt mean she will also approve :D that's the parent right, as a person, the person has the right to choose to believe whatever the person wants to believe. so, if you actually meant "how i can convince the parent", then it's not possible, it never is. if you meant really "how i present my point of view" then it's nice and dandy as long as you don't try to impose your point of view and start a war for it
February 1st, 2019 4:00pm
Feelings aren't just something we can continue to bottle up. No matter how a parent or someone you trust and respect reacts, your emotions and theirs will change, but feelings will always remain. You can't force something that's embedded within yourself, most especially if you've been fighting it for quite a while. No one has the right to degrade or belittle someone who's feelings they attain. Parents should understand that perspectives play a huge role when it comes to feelings, they may not exactly feel what their child is going through and being mindful of their actions and reactions is definitely a must, as kids may also react.
March 17th, 2019 3:41pm
Sometimes parents react out of fear or anger before they think. It might be best in this situation to let them cool down a bit. Then once you both have had time to think we approach the conversation with a level head. They might have to take a little bit more time to come around. No that no matter what they say your feelings are valid, and so are their’s. The key is to come to an agreement or at least an understanding. it won’t always be easy, but that is why we are here to support you through hard times. No matter what they say no that they love you and most likely want what’s best for you.
March 21st, 2019 7:20pm
Sometimes it is hard for people to walk in your shoes. I find it helpful to ask them if they have ever been in a similar situation or felt similar things. Being open about your feelings and helping parents to connect to them on a personal level could help the conversation. I think that emotions and feelings are always valid and experience as we all experience them differently, it can sometimes be hard to understand each other, or where we are coming from. Stating that your feelings are valid in the same way that their feelings are, might enable them to question their reaction.