How to Talk to Your Parents about Mistakes

Father and son. Talking to parents in Austin Tx

How to tell your parents you messed up

A Guide for Taking Responsibility for Different Age Groups

Talking to your parents about something you’ve done wrong can be daunting, but it’s an important step in taking responsibility and learning from your mistakes. Your parents are there to support and guide you through challenges. In this blog post, we’ll provide you with guidance on how to approach this conversation at different age groups, helping you navigate the process with honesty, respect, and a willingness to make things right.

  1. Early Childhood (Ages 3-7): If you’ve made a mistake, take a deep breath and remember that everyone makes them. Approach your parents when they’re available and not busy. Use simple words to explain what happened and how you feel. Your parents will appreciate your honesty and help you find a solution together.
  2. Late Childhood and Pre-Adolescence (Ages 8-12): As you grow, mistakes become a part of learning. Find a quiet time to talk when your parents can give you their full attention. Explain the situation honestly and take responsibility for your actions. Share your thoughts on how you plan to make amends or fix the situation. Your parents will likely appreciate your maturity and willingness to make things right.
  3. Early Teen Years (Ages 13-15): Approach your parents when everyone is calm and relaxed. Be honest about what you’ve done, why you did it, and how you feel about it. Discuss the steps you’re willing to take to rectify the situation or learn from your mistake. Show that you’re open to their guidance and that you value their input in finding a solution.
  4. Late Teen Years (Ages 16-18): Approach your parents with maturity and honesty. Choose a time when you can have an uninterrupted conversation. Present the situation, your actions, and your thoughts on how to address the issue or make amends. Acknowledge any consequences that may arise and express your commitment to learning from the experience. Your parents will appreciate your accountability and responsible approach.

Talking to your parents about a mistake is an important part of growing up and taking responsibility for your actions. Remember that your parents are there to support you and guide you through challenges. Approach the conversation with honesty, respect, and a willingness to learn and make things right. Regardless of your age, open communication is key to resolving the situation and maintaining a strong bond with your parents. Your courage in admitting your mistakes will not only lead to personal growth but also deepen the trust between you and your parents.

*Published August 24, 2023

Learn more about Parenting and how to communicate effectively with your kids.

Jonathan F. Anderson, LPC-s has worked in the helping profession since he started college in 1990. After completing his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Texas, Austin in 1994, he attended the highly-regarded University of Minnesota to earn his Master’s degree in 1997. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor and is recognized as a Board Approved Supervisor by the State of Texas Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors. Jonathan has completed Level-2 of the Gottman Method of Couples Counseling, and in 1998 received training from the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation in Advanced Critical Incident Stress Management & Debriefing. To learn more about Jonathan’s practice, click here: Jonathan F. Anderson, LPC-s.

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