How To Persuade Your Parents

This truly is one of the greatest skills I’ve developed in my seventeen years, and because I’m such a generous person, I’m going to give a few tips to help you teenagers out.

*Disclaimer: since I’ve only dealt with one set of parents, my tips might not work with everyone. But hey, they’re worth a shot.

 

1: Baby Steps. Never ever pitch the entire idea to your parents to begin with. Never. Always begin with the tiniest, least-threatening portion of your plan.

For years, my parents insisted that they weren’t going to let me get my license until I was seventeen, in order to ensure that I’d have plenty of practice driving with them before I was on my own. They had this terrible picture in their minds of me wrecking and dying, so they seemed to think that twelve additional months of practice would eliminate those odds.

Instead of immediately pushing to get my license at sixteen, I slowly eased into the idea. I already had a job, and I mentioned that being licensed would make getting to and from work a trillion times easier. I was running cross country, and it was a struggle for my mom sometimes to make sure I had a ride to and from practices and meets, so I tossed up the idea that if I were licensed already, I wouldn’t need to find someone to bring me home. With my mom’s work schedule, it was difficult for me to make it to early morning meetings for the various clubs and organizations I was in before school, so I suggested that being licensed would be really helpful.

Finally, my mom gave in and agreed to let me get my license before I was 17, but there were a lot of stipulations. I’ll get to that later, though. On to the next tip.

2: Pick The Easier Parent. You guys know the drill… if Mom says no, always ask Dad. If Dad says no, then go ask Mom. That’s how it was as a little kid, going back and forth until you got the answer you were seeking. But by your teenage years, you should know which parent will say yes, depending on the circumstances. Always start with that parent, and once they’re on your side, it’ll be much easier to drag their other half along for the ride.

In my case, I’m much closer with my mom than I am with my stepdad. To be honest, I wasn’t entirely sure where he stood on the case of my license, whether he was just agreeing with my mom or if he truly cared about my waiting ’til I was seventeen to drive alone. So, naturally, I worked on my mom first, and once she broke down and sided with me, she just filled him in on what was going to happen and things went pretty smoothly from there.

3: Compromise. Remember earlier, when I mentioned those stipulations that my mom gave me for obtaining my license? Here’s where I’m going to hit harder on those. Mom agreed to let me get my license, but told me I could only drive to and from work, to and from cross country, and that I could only drive to school on days I either had practice or a meeting before or after school. I was a little put-out by that at first, since I really was longing for the freedom of being able to drive wherever, whenever without being accompanied by an adult, but I know my mom very well. I know that if I let her think things will go according to her plan, there’s always a little room to wiggle around her rules later. And so, I agreed to her stipulations. Only months after I got my license, I was allowed to drive into town and to my friends houses. Today, I mention heading an hour or two away into the city with a friend, and my mom barely bats an eyelash. Baby steps and compromise work hand in hand in getting your way.

Another thing I should add is that I volunteered to pay for my driver’s ed class, which was two hundred dollars, and my mom really didn’t feel like paying for it. I’m pretty sure that by stepping up and responsibly saying “Mom, this is so important to me that I’m willing to pay for it in its entirety,” I really gained some brownie points.

4. Slow Extension. This, too, was already mentioned in my last point. At first, I had to follow my mom’s stipulations exactly. But slowly, I began extending the boundaries, and now, there really isn’t much of a boundary set at all. In a matter of months, I’m going to be eighteen, and I’m really proud of my mom for how well she’s doing with slowly letting go in preparation for the day I move out on my own. (Which is nine months away, for the record.) The idea here is that you need to slowly push your limits, and eventually, the limits will begin to expand.

5. Guilt Trips. Of all the tips I’m giving you, this is by far the dirtiest, sneakiest, most manipulative. It’s also extremely effective when it’s done properly. You can’t overdo guilt trips, or they’re annoying and make you look irresponsible (and when you’re trying to get your way, irresponsibility won’t help you out a bit). You also can’t entirely discount them from your plan of action.

In my own example scenario, while I was trying to convince my mom to let me get my license, I constantly hit on the fact that it was getting colder and darker outside, and that pretty soon walking home from work (even though it’s only about a quarter of a mile) was going to be dangerous and difficult. I also mentioned how terrible it was to have to wait an hour or more outside in the wind after practice or a meet for her to get off work and come pick me up (I didn’t mention that I sort of liked the quiet time to myself while I waited). Moms are compassionate. They love their babies, even if sometimes it doesn’t seem like it. That’s why this tip can be so effective. If my mom thinks for an instance that I’m too cold or that I’m too hungry or that I’m in some way not taken care of, she immediately wants to fix it and make sure I’m safe and secure. Hit on your mom’s motherly instincts and it’ll be a struggle for her to turn you down.

It’s important to note with this tip that saying things like “but mom, it’s not fair. All the other kids get to…” will potentially backfire and ensure that you do not get your way. Never use the phrase “not fair” or compare your situation to that of another child. And again, don’t over do the guilt trips. That’s also ineffective.

 

I wish you luck on your mission of persuasion.

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‘Bout To Get Controversial

This post is going to be a serious rant, so if you think you’re going to get offended by a topic that’s currently very controversial, then leave. Right now. My purpose isn’t to offend, but rather to get my thoughts out. So if I see comments that bash what I have to say, I will block them as spam, because I’m warning you to leave NOW if you don’t want to read something that clashes with any opinions you may have. Now, then… on to my rant…

 

I’m sure you’ve all heard of that Chick-Fil-A thing that’s going on. You know, where the CEO of the company publicly declared that he was for the biblical ideas of marriage and that he’s against gay marriage? Yeah, that thing. Politicians are now using the stance of a fast food joint to gain public acceptance. Other fast food places are siding with Chic-Fil-A. I’ve even read that the company is financially supporting anti-gay organizations that go overseas to kill gays and are trying to make homosexuality illegal. Honestly, I’m not sure if that’s 100% true or not, but I don’t doubt it, especially with the way people are acting these days.

So what I want to know is this: how does gay marriage affect Chick-Fil-A? How does it affect all those politicians? How does it affect other companies? How does it affect you? How does it affect me? The answer is that it doesn’t.

I’m straight. I’ve never even considered the idea of dating or marrying anyone who wasn’t of the opposite gender, and therefore, I find it extremely difficult to understand how someone might be attracted to another of the same sex. Personally, I’m going to grow up and marry a guy that I fall in love with. Because of that, gay marriage doesn’t affect me in the least. What do I care if two people who are in love get married? I think everyone should have a chance at love, whether or not they go about it the conventional way. It does not affect me.

And guess what! Unless you’re gay, this issue doesn’t affect you either.

Here’s something that might surprise you after reading this: I’m a christian. There’s a shocker, ‘eh? Especially since I’m arguing against Chick-Fil-A’s supposed support of a biblical idea. But the thing is, I don’t believe that a true christian can support one part of the bible without supporting the rest. What Chic-Fil-A’s CEO failed to mention is that yes, gay marriage is a sin, but so is telling someone that they look pretty when you’re internally wondering if they’ve been hit by the ugly stick is equally sinful. In Jesus’ eyes, a sin is a sin. It doesn’t matter how big or little. It doesn’t matter if you’re gay or if you’ve told a white lie or if you’ve committed murder. It’s the exact same thing. And guess what? We’ve ALL sinned. Every single one of us. 

I’m sick of seeing people who claim to be christian post facebook statuses about how much they’re going to support Chick-Fil-A now. Grow up–this has nothing to do with any of you! The United States is putting entirely too much emphasis on the issue  of gay marriage right now, when in reality, it doesn’t affect a majority of us in any way, shape, or form. All it’s doing is drawing our country further and further apart, and over an immature issue nonetheless. What ever happened to the separation of church and state? We can’t pray in school, but politicians are allowed to publicly declare their support or contradiction with an issue that stems from a statement about christian beliefs? That just seems completely hypocritical to me.

Back to what I said about Chick-Fil-A’s support of organizations that are trying to make homosexuality illegal. That’s one of the absurd things I’ve ever heard. Teenagers can legally abort a child and never have to tell their parents about it, but apparently being attracted to someone of the same gender should be outlawed? I don’t think so. It’s absolutely ridiculous. I love my country, but I’m extremely disappointed in them right now. The United States needs to rethink their morals, because there’s a serious issue when killing a child is legal but being in love with someone that the bible says not to love isn’t allowed.

All I have to say is grow up, America. This issue doesn’t affect me, and it doesn’t affect thousands of others who are butting their heads into it. Don’t let this split apart our country even more. There’s plenty of bad things already. Don’t bring fast food into this, don’t bring politics into this, and don’t bring unaffected parties into this.

I neither support nor oppose gay marriage. Because as I’ve already said half a dozen times, it doesn’t affect me. What’s the use of having such a strong opinion when it has nothing to do with most of us? That’s completely immature.

I’ve already explained my stance on the biblical aspects–that a sin is a sin is a sin is a sin and we’re all guilty of sinning–but I want to mention a couple more things on that. 1) It doesn’t matter that we’ve sinned numerous times, Jesus will forgive us no matter what. All you have to do is ask for forgiveness. 2) Hate is a sin, too. And it’s something that the devil thrives on. So if you think that you’re some great christian because you’re hating on homosexuals, you need to get that idea out of your head right now. You’re no higher or more holy than the people who you’re going against.

One last thing before I hit publish and watch as the hateful comments stream in (even though I said NOT to read if you might be offended): I neither support nor oppose Chick-Fil-A. I’m disappointed that the nation has chosen sides over an issue such as this. There are bigger things than gay marriage that we need to be focused on, like the amount of homeless people there are or the fact that there are soldiers dying daily in the fight for our freedom. But I’m not going to take this out on Chick-Fil-A because that’s entirely immature, and one person is not at fault for this. Our entire nation is at fault because we’ve let an issue that shouldn’t be a national issue escalate to extremes.

Sorry, not sorry.

Swallow Seven Times.

This is random, but I had to share. If you’ve got the hiccups, swallow seven times. Don’t drink anything, just swallow. It gets difficult after the fourth time or so, but it works.

Thank me later.

Currently Listening To:

I Just Wanna Run, The Downtown Fiction