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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
Moderated by

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 22nd, 2019 9:58pm
Sometimes when parents are talking to their children, they are only thinking like a parent. Angry about you not listening, or that what they didn't think what you did is right. They forget the lesson we learned as children, empathy. Putting yourselves in another person's shoes. Sometimes as adults you forget that your children have their own point of view, & no matter how much you both believe you're right you have to understand that. Even though you may be young your feelings are still as valid as anybody elses! Try to calmly explain how you feel to them, or instead of face to face try writing a letter that says this is how i feel...
June 6th, 2019 6:11pm
To have someone listen to you, you need to listen to what they have to say. Listening is extremely underrated! Keep your calm, and understand they worry and bother because they care. See where they are coming from and try to address each point they layout in their argument. If anything bot only it builds a stronger case for you but they might even see your vision clearly. They will also respect you for hearing them out. They might even return the favor and an argument could become a discussion. After all your parents together are you! Something to think about.
June 6th, 2019 7:15pm
Sometimes parents forget that we are people just the same as they are, and easily overlook our feelings, thoughts and opinions. It's sometimes helpful to remind them that you are at a point that you have developed into your own person, and your ideals and feelings will not always coincide with theirs, but you respect their feelings and would ask that they give you that same respect in return. Mutual respect is usually what I find to be the biggest issue in any relationship, rather it be friends, family or a partner. You must respect one another even if you disagree, to therefore value one another's feelings.
September 11th, 2019 5:13pm
Parents will always think good for their children. But they are also human and can make mistakes. Even though they think what they are thinking is good for the child, they can be wrong. Make the parent understand that their opinion matters to you and will always matter but You should be the one making decisions about your life. Take baby steps. Make them allow you to make small decisions of your life at first. Then gradually make more and more decisions yourself along with consulting your parents. When the parent sees that you can make your own decisions in a good way they will start to give you more autonomy, even when they sometimes disagree with your decision and react badly.
October 13th, 2019 9:06pm
I've been in this situation before, and I know how stressful and nerve-wracking confronting parents can be. You have to be mindful of how your parent could react to what you say. Is it something that could make them angry? Would they be understanding? Think of ways to express what you feel in a way that they understand. Remember that the goal isn't to get them to agree with you; it's to have them validate you. Brainstorm what you say based on seeking validation rather than persuasion, and remember to be completely honest. Validate them too by acknowledging their previous reaction.
December 26th, 2019 4:41pm
Describing a reaction as bad is a relative term. Such a reaction would vary from person to person. Only you would know what the specific reaction of your parent would be. In previous situations where such a reaction was observed, think about what helped to diffuse situation. Is it better to seek another appropriate time? Is my tone respectful? What would be the best choice of words? Am I interrupting when my parent speaks? Do I sound like I am talking back to my parent? How is my body language? Am I rolling my eyes? Am I shrugging? Do I appear closed off, like I'm ignoring what they're saying? Am I being reasonable? Am I willing to hear their side? Think about how you'd like your parent to respond to you and give them the same courtesy. Since your parent is in the position of power, considering the possibility that you may not get your way this time, helps you prepare beforehand on how to react calmly. Communicating maturely in the present will serve you in good stead for future occasions, even when relating to people other than your parent.
January 31st, 2020 8:52pm
Ask if you can have a conversation with them because you have a few concerns and would like to talk to them about them. You have every right to have this conversation. Especially if you are feeling badly or confused. Start by asking if you could have a few minutes of their time because you have a couple of concerns you would like to talk about. If it’s not a good time for them, ask when you can have a few minutes of their time to talk about your concerns. They then have the option of accepting your request or declining to discuss your concerns
February 7th, 2020 9:07am
Firstly stay calm! Do not fight fire with more fire. Try and figure out how you are currently feeling. Angry? irritated? Devalidated? you need this for the next technique i have learned from a listener a log time ago! when you have calmed down and taken your time to figure out how you are feeling. You can pick up a conversation at a different point when everyone is calm and has the time to listen. And here is where the technique comes in, this being: Talk from how you are feeling. Do not accuse! say things like: the way you reacted to my (fill in conondrum") Made me feel such a such way. But i do feel such and such a way about this conondrum. This made me feel as if how i felt was not valid. With this conversation technique you do not accuse anyone of anything so they will not feel attacked or jugded. most of the time. But it does make it clear in a friendly nonhostile way how you feel. And gets across the point you wanted to make in the first place.
March 1st, 2020 2:45am
Explain to them how it makes you feel and describe how you’re feeling and how it is affecting your daily life. Explain why you’re feeling that way and that it really is affecting you and that you’re being serious, and what you’re feeling is real. Try to calm them down and tell them you wouldn’t be talking to them if you didn’t think it was that serious, and that you want them to consider your feelings and be validated. Ask them why they reacted like that and try to have a conversation with them about it and try to get along.
March 7th, 2020 11:13am
I think it is very hard for parents to not react on our situation. When we are young they are used to react to every single cry, always! As we grow older I believe it is hard to step out of the way and acknowledge that we can deal with our situations quite well, or that we can grow into it. Especially when their kids are facing a challenge, it is hard for a parent not to interfere, and this is something one also has to respect. I would explain to a parent that I acknowledge their attempt to act, and that I appreciate that. But, that I need more support, rather than someone else taking over. Therefore it is crucial to feel seen and accepted in the situation that I am in, with all its emotional turmoil.
March 8th, 2020 1:32am
It's great that you are in touch with your own emotions and understand your thoughts. How do you think you could best express them to this parent? How do you think they will react? I know how hard it can be to talk to someone about their actions and decisions, but do you think talking to this parent will help the situation or resolve your feelings? think of ways you can combat this situation that will be easier for you or won't contribute to your feelings of nervousness. Ask yourself if you are sure about what you're feeling and consider if you think this is something necessary in helping you with your feelings.
May 27th, 2020 10:21am
It is going to be hard to do it, but you will have to be the bigger man or woman in the situation even if your parent continues to treat you unfairly. It may be easy to fight fire with fire, but that will only create a bigger issue. You have to take initiative, walk up to your parents, ask them if they are available, and open up about how you feel and what you feel. It sounds cliche and generic, but being straightforward is better than beating around the bush and hoping that they understand later. People are a lot more loving and care than society makes them out to be. I wish you the best, and I believe in you!
June 10th, 2020 1:18am
Parents are usually not good at validating our feelings but the first step towards making them understand that our feelings are valid are through a calm and open conversation. First, please know and never lose sight of the fact that your feelings are valid. Second, try to understand where they are coming from and what made them react that badly. Third try to restate your feelings again building on what they have already said to you as to why they reacted badly. If they still dont understand you, keep having those honest conversations. Always make sure to check in with yourself and how these conversations affect you to make sure you are always working towards your own wellbeing.
July 1st, 2020 4:35pm
It’s really hard. Try to use a dear man. Describe what’s going on then express how you feel. Next assert -tell them what you need and r Reinforce . How this is good for both of you. Feel free to message me if you have questions! Here’s a example. When we where talking earlier about my anxiety you made me feel really invalidated. I really think it would best if we try to validate each other’s feelings. This way there are less arguments and our relationship is better. I really appreciate you listening to me and what I have to say
July 18th, 2020 7:32pm
By using words that don't start by blaming them for how they reacted. Or even telling them how bad you felt by the way they reacted. One should start with an apology about the thing which made the parents react that way. It will help the parent to calm down and listen to the opinion of their child. And, after the apology two things may happen one they may automatically understand their behavior and apologies for it their way. Or the child could explain the way he/she felt after their reaction. It will help them understand that the child isn't attacking him with the blame games but making a point. Also, it will give them a clearer mind to understand the same.
July 31st, 2020 9:38am
It's a hard one, isn't it... When you feel not understood or your feelings are overlooked. I think a lot of parents find it hard to actively listen and sympathise as much as someone who is not as emotionally involved in your life, your parent in your case. But know that they really do want the best for you but probably have not learnt active listening, which I weirdly realised after coming here and becoming a listener. You can ask them to just listen to you and repeat what you said and ask if they can see it from your point of view. Walk a mile in your shoes if you will... I am still trying to figure it out with my parents. But I hope this helps somewhat!
August 9th, 2020 4:16pm
Getting them to a place where they can listen is the first step. No one can fully pay attention in the heat of the moment. So, I would start by letting them know that I understand why they might have reacted in such a way, while using a calm, warm tone. Parents can get overprotective because in most cases they want what is best for their child. As soon as the tension is somewhat relieved, I would reassure them that my intensions were not to defy or undermine them but that it would benefit both parties if they understand my view of the situation and do my best to give clear arguments. This might not apply to every situation, but being calm and respectful is a great start when trying to discuss something sensitive with parents.
September 23rd, 2020 1:27pm
This can be a problem of generation gap. It is very important to express yourself in a way which is not hurtful for them too. So try to be patient with them and also explain yourself in a way that doesn't hurt them too. Try to understand where they are coming from and then work your way around at changing that point. Statements like : -The other day we had an argument about this thing. - I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. -It hurt me really bad that you couldn't understand me. -I would appreciate if you could try to give a chance at understanding me.
September 25th, 2020 4:23am
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September 26th, 2020 12:45am
My mom and I love each other very much. Im grateful for her every day. But every once and a while me and my mom diss agree on something and yell at one another. I end up feeling awful and guilty for yelling at my mom and apologize to her almost immediately afterwards. But recently Ive discovered that that is not quite the way to go around the issue. Recently, Ive made a point of talking about the issue after weve both calmed down. Sometimes it ends quickly, other times we both have to leave the room again in order to not have to start all over again. Ive learned through this experience that my feelings are valid and I shouldnt feel guilty for sharing how Im feeling.
October 16th, 2020 5:06am
How you feel will always be valid to you no matter who disagrees with you. No one can disagree with someone else's experience. But we also have to respect that not everyone will understand our truth or our feelings or experiences and we have to find a way to live with that. All you can do is be honest and communicate with your parent how you feel and how their reaction hurt you. Being honest and vulnerable and brave in that way shows your strength and that you're prioritizing your feelings. That's what's important and that's all you can do.
November 12th, 2020 12:00pm
making your parents understand can be hard , especially if they don't know what you have gone through in your tough times. to make your parents understand, start slowly by putting out your points how you are correct, don't straight get to the point, edge towards it slowly, after explaining the basics, get to the more important points , like how you were correct, and how their reaction you would have expected rather than the reaction you got. after that, try explaining what happened in minor details, and then major ones, after you have placed those points. try to convince them how it was not your fault
November 13th, 2020 2:23am
Sometimes, things can not always be explained in words and it must be explained in the way you live your life. Your parents may not always approve of the things you say or do, but the moment they start seeing the impact of whatever it is that is going on, that is when they are prone to start validating you. It comes with time and it may not be easy all the time but do understand that your parents are just as human as you are and understand that they do have flaws. So accept them and validate their emotions as well as they have human emotions as well
November 14th, 2020 3:38pm
That can be very hard to navigate, and it's especially difficult sometimes to explain your feelings to someone in a position of power, or who is "superior" to you in age/experience. My suggestion would be to first make them feel validated to an extent. It's important to avoid justifying their reaction (if it was inappropriate), but immediately accusing someone of overreacting can quickly put them on the defence and result in the rest of your words going in one ear and out the other. So, acknowledge what you did that might've lead to that heated moment. Once you've done that, explain how you feel. Explain how specific aspects of what transpired impacted you negatively. Sometimes people aren't aware of the power of their words or actions, and explaining that can be helpful. Try to keep the conversation in a cool, calm place, and then focus towards an action plan of what can be done next time a situation like this arises.
November 14th, 2020 7:52pm
I think it's important to advocate for yourself, even if they react poorly. Maybe say something like, "I didn't intend to hurt/upset you, and I'm sorry that you feel that way, but I still really feel ______ emotionally, and it's not wrong for me to feel that way." Even if they react poorly, you'll know you stood up for yourself. It can be really hard when parents don't understand how you feel. Keep your head up, and remember that your parents are just people who are also flawed. They also probably grew up in a generation that wasn't anywhere near in touch with emotions.
November 18th, 2020 12:21pm
Everyone feels sad sometimes, just like everyone can feel joyful, angry, proud and plenty of other emotions. In other words, everyone has feelings, and those feeling are always changing. Sometimes we feel happy (such as when we’re having fun) and sometimes we feel sad (such as when we lose a loved one). Whatever the feeling, it is real and part of living. Even if you think a parent won't be willing or able to help, it's still worth a try to talk. People are often surprised by how much their parents rally to their side when they ask for help, even if the parents have a lot going on themselves. Occasionally, parents have too many troubles of their own or other issues going on. If you reach out to talk and it turns out your mom or dad can't help, go to another adult (such as a teacher, counselor, coach, or relative). Don't give up until you find someone who can help you. It's that important.
December 2nd, 2020 10:15am
It’s extremely hard to get other generations get it. Unfortunately the mental health stigma is even more visible in such generations. Where there isn’t understanding coming from them, we sometimes feel really alone. I think I would start with this - telling them how important it is for me for them to understand and support me through what I am currently dealing with. Showing them how important that input would be for you might make them try their best to understand you. I’m sorry to hear they have reacted badly, you don’t deserve this. However don’t take it the wrong way, ideas can be rejected by others who do not feel the same and it’s often the case that such reactions come from a place of compassion and not poor understanding!
December 3rd, 2020 7:23pm
Find a time when you can approach your mom or dad in a calm way. You might want to open the conversation by asking, "Can I talk to you? I've been feeling depressed and bad about things. I've been thinking I might need to talk to someone." If it's too hard to start a conversation in person, you could write your parent a note saying you need to talk. Sometimes the conversation just gets started by itself. For example, if you're crying or overwhelmed, you might just blurt out your feelings. This could be the perfect beginning to the conversation you need to have.
December 20th, 2020 10:27am
It can unfortunately be really difficult to convince parents about something they are against or have a negative outlook about. In many cases it might take a lot of time to make them understand. But what you feel is always going to be valid so don't give up and keep trying. Parents will in most cases change their mind with time cause they want to see us happy. But the change can be really really slow so please don't lose patience. Lastly I would like you to know that make sure you are not in a situation where you can get hurt, take care of yourself and if you think they love you? Then be a bit patient and they might come around!