Convincing your mom can be difficult because she knows she has the final say – she’s the boss. If you really want to convince her of something, you need to have thought through your arguments beforehand and then present them to her in a mature and respectful tone. However, by showing her that you’ve thought this all through and have a plan in place that can allay her concerns, you might actually be able to persuade her.
After all, you are about to have a difficult conversation that can easily degenerate into an argument. To prevent this from happening, you should be clear in advance how you will argue without a fight. Don’t be quick-tempered! Think ahead and give yourself enough time to come up with a proposal that you hope she will accept. If what you want permission for, such as tickets to a concert or permission to go to a party, has a specific date, get it in place early. You should also ask early enough just in case the first answer will be “no”. The first answer is not always the last answer. With a little time, you might be able to change her mind. But you also need enough time for that.
Sure, the most obvious answer is “Because I want to!”, but that’s not convincing enough. Think of the positive consequences it could have for you other than the joy of it. For example, it could be the first time your favorite band has come to town in five years. If you don’t see her now, you might not see her at all, It could be an important experience with your friends. You would be sad and lonely if you were the only one in your circle of friends who wasn’t allowed to go to the birthday party. Can you learn a lesson from this? An example: “If I drive to school alone, I can use it to learn self-responsibility. I have to wake up and get ready alone without you having to push me.”
Your mom probably deals with issues every day that you don’t know about – work, bills, meals, cleaning, and taking care of the kids. If she hears even one question, she may be tempted to just say “no” because she’s already busy. To avoid this, list all the things you have done yourself. Why do you deserve what you ask for? Some examples could be: You’ve had only good grades in school lately, or you’ve worked hard to improve on a bad grade in a subject you’re struggling with. You do household chores every day without grumbling. You haven’t asked for anything in a long time.
Parents often bribe their children to behave. So why not turn the tables? After you’ve told her what you want and why you deserve it, you should also be able to offer something as a trade. A few examples are: You could babysit your younger siblings for the next two weekends so your parents can have some time for themselves. You could do extra housework. Be specific and think about what she would like best. If you know that vacuuming gives her back pain, offer to do the job for her. If she hates cleaning the litter box, tell her you’re going to do it now. If what you want costs money, offer to pay as much as you can for it. Cleaning all or part of the house Gardening Washing the car Cooking meals Doing the dishes Taking out the trash Doing the laundry Remember that the more specific you are about the tasks, the more believable your promise will be. Promising to “behave” is way too vague. She won’t believe you. However, if you make her clear, specific promises, it will make a world of difference.
Put yourself in your mother’s shoes: What do you think her reasons for saying “no” will be? Even if you think their reasons are unfair, listing them and finding counterarguments will improve your chances. You will likely have to make compromises, so be prepared not to get your wish fully granted. Examples: She doesn’t like that girls/boys are also at the party; tell her that she can come with you if she has concerns. She’s too tired to take you to the amusement park at the weekend; suggest doing her chores the night before so she can relax and sleep well. That includes doing the laundry, cooking, cleaning – everything your mother would do. She worries that if you drive into town alone, you might lie about your whereabouts; tell her you’re going to call her from a friend’s landline phone so she recognizes the number and knows you’re really there.
Timing is everything when it comes to a request. If you ask your mom something while she’s focused on something else, or she’s annoyed and in a bad mood after a long day at work, your chances of success may not be very high. Watch her carefully, looking for a time when she’s relaxed and in a good mood, but doesn’t need the time to herself badly. Try not to catch her relaxing after a long day, but also not during a stressful day. Find the perfect focal point when she’s relaxed and in a good mood.
You know you’re asking her for something she wouldn’t willingly give you. So gives her all the information she needs to refute her concerns. For example: If you ask for a smartphone, explain to her that she can control how much money you spend on the AppStore – or whether you can spend any money there at all. If you ask if you can go to a party, tell her where it will be, who will be there, and which adults will be supervising. Give her the parents’ phone number so she can speak to them herself. This way you can convince her that everything will be calm and civil there. If you want to ask her permission to date someone, tell her about the boy/girl you like. Before she says “no,” tell her you want her to meet him/her.
Sometimes parents just give “parent answers” instead of giving the real reasons. We’ve all seen it: “Because I want it that way.” And it’s hard to disagree: I am your mother and you must obey me. You can’t argue against that! However, if she explains her reasons to you, you can try to refute them. Ask her in a curious, not defensive, tone. There’s a big difference between screaming “But why?!” and asking if she could please explain why she doesn’t want it. Tell her you want to understand her decision. Be open-minded when she speaks. Your mother has had a lot of life experience and loves you very much, so chances are she will only do what she thinks is best for you. You don’t have to agree with her opinion, but you have to respect her.
If you made your request and the first answer was “no,” you can also let her change the terms to show her that you respect her authority. She will appreciate that you know she is sensible and only wants the best for you. “What do I have to do to earn this?” You’ve already come up with a few suggestions. If these don’t work, you can put control in their hands, which might get you closer to your goal. Be open and willing to compromise.
Even if your mom says “no” straight away, that doesn’t mean the conversation is over. Instead of starting to cry or get angry, it’s best to show her that you’re mature enough to argue objectively. “Okay mom, you say that now. If that’s your final answer, then I respect that, but can I ask you again in a week? I promise I’ll behave my way so you’ll reconsider.” “I’m not saying you have to change your mind. I just want you to pay attention and see how hard I can work to bring this about to earn.”
If you’ve asked for something you want but it doesn’t matter too much if you don’t get it, maybe you should just let it go if your mom says no. If you make a big deal out of every request, your mom will get tired of it and just say “no” to everything. Think carefully about whether it’s important enough to keep bugging her about it. Save your arguments for things that really matter to you. If going to the movies with your friends on the weekends isn’t too important to you, you can save your arguments and discussion for a more important privilege, like getting a cell phone or being allowed to attend driving school.
When your mom seems to say “no,” you may experience signs of anger and frustration: your skin feels hot, your heart beats faster, and your voice gets brighter and louder. While it’s natural for you to feel this way, know that part of winning an argument is controlling your emotions. Work on keeping your voice calm – if you find yourself getting louder or changing the pitch of your voice, take deep breaths to release the tightness in your throat that comes with anger. Balance feelings and logical arguments. The discussion should be more about the arguments you made up ahead of time than how you’re feeling at the moment. If you’re worried about losing your temper at any moment, show your maturity by asking your mom if you can take a short break so you can calm down. You could say, “Mom, I think this is getting to me too much, crying or getting mad isn’t going to help me at all. But I want to keep talking about this. I just need a little break, okay? ”
Words have a big impact on how your request appears to your mother. There’s a huge difference between “You never let me do what I want” and “It would really make me incredibly happy if you let me do that”. The following phrases might help you: ‘Could I please…’ ‘Please, could I…’ ‘It would be awesome if I…’ ‘If I could, it would really help me with _____. ” ‘I would be really grateful if…’
In any argument, no matter how respectful and civilized it is, you’ll likely feel the need to explain yourself, even while she’s speaking. This is very disrespectful, however, and suggests that you think you deserve more speaking time than they do. Remember that in any conversation with your mom, she’s the one in control. If you treat them wrong, your chances of getting what you want drop towards zero. Control the urge to interrupt, even if you’ve come up with a great argument for what she’s saying. Wait for her thoughts to run through. Don’t just sit through this, but listen to her and absorb what she is telling you. The better you listen, the more likely you’ll come up with arguments to counter their points. This is far more effective than simply reiterating your concern. To further show her how seriously you take her perspective, use connecting words like “okay,” “yes,” and “aha.” These show that you are actively listening to her.
You’ll need to use all sorts of tricks to convince your mom – and nonverbal communication can be very helpful when trying to persuade someone. Make eye contact. This shows her that you give her your attention and that you care about what she has to say. Don’t cross your arms or legs. That would give the impression that you are closing yourself off. You want to show your mother that you’re open to what she says. Nod when she presents her arguments. This works much like the “connecting words”; it shows that you follow her.
Every time you get caught in a lie, it only makes your situation more difficult. Think long-term – be open and honest with her no matter what it is. Even if you think she wouldn’t like it. You’ve already considered their concerns in advance and come up with answers. If you did a good job there, you won’t have anything to hide. Remember that if you’re being honest, you won’t always get everything you want. However, if you are caught lying, it will become increasingly difficult to persuade your mother, because she will always be suspicious, even if you are not actually hiding anything.