Convincing your mother of something can be difficult, especially since she knows she has the final say. If you need to assert your point of view, you have to plan your argument in advance and present it calmly and respectfully. If you can show that you've thought about her concerns, you can change her mind about the matter at hand.
Part 1 of 3: Planning
Step 1. Take as much time as you need to prepare
You are about to have a difficult conversation, which can easily turn into a fight if the proper precautions are not taken. To prevent this, think carefully about your way of arguing. Don't be impulsive! Spend some time thinking up a proposal that will increase your chances of getting what you want.
- If you have a deadline to get what you want (tickets to a show or permission to go to a party, for example), deal with the situation as early as possible.
- It's always better to ask permission to do something well in advance of the date, just in case the answer is no. The first answer is not always definitive. In time, your mother may change her mind. But for that you will need time.
Step 2. List the reasons why you would like to receive what you want
“Why yes” may seem like a great answer to you, but it won't be enough to convince your mother. Think of all the good you would receive besides happiness.
- For example, after five years of waiting, your favorite band will play in your city. If you don't go, you may have missed a unique chance.
- It can be an important experience for you and your friends. If everyone were there but you, it would make you feel sad and lonely.
- Is there any chance to think of the event as a learning experience? For example, driving alone to school teaches self-reliance, and responsibility.
Step 3. Talk about the reasons you believe you deserve what you are asking for
Chances are, your mother deals with problems every day that you don't even know about, such as work, bills, preparing meals, cleaning, and the needs of the kids. In some cases, she will say “no” just because she has a lot to think about. To avoid this, show how you've thought about it. Some examples you can earn what you're asking for include:
- Do you keep your grades good, or have you worked hard to raise a low grade in a subject.
- You do your chores every day without complaining.
- You haven't asked for anything for a long time.
Step 4. Try to close a deal
Parents do this to their kids all the time, so why not use the same tactic? After you say why you deserve to be allowed to do something, try offering something else as a bargaining chip. Some options include:
- Take care of your siblings for a weekend so your parents can take time to themselves.
- Take on some extra housework. Be specific and think of something she would love you to do. If you know your mom's back hurts when she vacuums the house, offer to do it for her.
- If she hates cleaning the cat's litter box, tell her you'll do it from now on.
- If the issue involves money, offer to pay some of the expenses.
- Clean the house.
- Take care of the garden.
- Clean or wash the car.
- Eat meals.
- Wash dishes
- Take out the garbage.
- The most important thing is to remember to be specific. Just promising to help around the house is too vague to be convincing. On the other hand, clear and detailed promises can make all the difference.
Step 5. Anticipate your mother's concerns
If you were in her shoes, what would be your reasons for saying no? Even if some of the reasons are unfair, think of some way to get around them in order to improve your chances. You may need to give in a little bit, so be prepared for that. For example:
- If she doesn't like the fact that there are people of the opposite sex at a party, tell her she can go with you.
- If she's too tired to take you to the amusement park this weekend, tell her you'll take care of all the housework the night before so your mom can get a good night's sleep. This includes cleaning, cooking and washing.
- If your mom is worried about you driving alone because you might lie about where you are, tell her you're going to call her from a friend's landline so she'll know you're where you said you would be.
Part 2 of 3: Presenting Your Argument
Step 1. Choose the right time
When it comes to an important conversation, this can be crucial. If you try to broach a sensitive subject when your mother is busy, focused on something else, or even in a bad mood, you probably won't be successful.
- Wait for a moment when she's rested and in a good mood, a moment when it doesn't seem like she'd rather be alone and not think about anything.
- Don't try to start a difficult conversation when your mother is very busy, or taking time to herself. The right time is when she is relaxed and in a good mood.
Step 2. Provide all the information she needs
When you're asking for something your mother doesn't want to give you, you need to do everything you can to alleviate her hesitations. For example:
- If you're ordering a new cell phone, explain that she can control your spending on apps, calls, SMS, internet, etc.
- If you need permission to go to a party, give the address of the venue, say who will be there and which adults will be in attendance. Let your mother speak to these adults in person. This can make you feel more relaxed.
- If you want permission to date someone, tell them all about the guy you like. say you will introduce him to your mother so she can make a good decision.
Step 3. Ask if your mother has an honest reason to deny you what you want
Parents are often not very true to their children. Everyone has heard a “because I'm in charge” in their lives. It is harder to disagree with a vague denial, as it starts from the premise that your parents have the authority to deny without explanation. It's hard to argue with that! However, if your mother decides to open up a little more, you will have a chance to argue more easily.
- Try not to be too defensive. There's a big difference between shouting “why” and politely asking about your mother's concerns. Say you just want to understand, and maybe find out if you can do something positive to change her mind.
- Listen to what she says with an open mind. Your mom loves you, and has a lot of life experience, so she's probably doing what she thinks is best for you. You don't have to agree, but you must respect and accept.
Step 4. Invite your mother to say “yes” under certain conditions
Say that you would be happy to accept some rules or limits to get what you want to show that you respect her authority. Your mother will be pleased with that.
- "What could I do to deserve what I'm asking for?"
- Since offering to do something specific didn't work, doing so is a valid alternative to reaching your goal, as it's like giving your mother a blank check.
- Try an open dialogue and be ready to commit to it.
Step 5. If she says no right away, ask her to think some more and respond later
So it may not be the end of the conversation and your hopes. Instead of crying and losing your temper, show maturity.
- "If that's your final answer, Mom, I'll respect you, but could you think some more before you decide? If I behave well enough next week, I might be able to change your mind."
- "I'm not asking you to change your mind. Just so you can think about it more, and see what I can do to deserve what I'm asking."
Step 6. Choose your battles carefully
If you don't really want what you're asking for, it might be better to let it go when your mom says no. If you make a fuss every time you hear a “no,” your mother will never be willing to let you do anything.
- Know how to distinguish when something is worth fighting for or not. Save your best arguments for the things that really matter.
- If going to the movies with your friends over the weekend isn't a priority, you might want to let it go and fight for something more meaningful, like getting your license or getting a new cell phone.
Part 3 of 3: Keeping a Respectful Tone
Step 1. Stay as calm as possible
If your mother is likely to say “no,” don't let anger and frustration get the better of you.
- Regardless of how you feel about it, be aware that winning an argument requires good control of emotions.
- Keep your tone acceptable, take a deep breath, and let the tension go out of your shoulders if you feel like you're about to lose control.
- Balance logical arguments and sentimentality. Ideally, the conversation should be more about your arguments than about how you feel about the issue.
- If you're worried about crying or losing your mind, be mature and ask for time to calm down.
- Say you're getting really nervous, and that crying or screaming isn't going to help. Ask to continue the conversation at another time, or at least to take a short break.
Step 2. Choose your words carefully
They can have a huge effect (positive or negative) when talking to your mother. There is a big difference between "you never let me do what I want" and "I would be so happy and grateful if you would give me permission." Phrases you should keep in mind include:
- “Please can I…. "
- "I could…"
- “It would be really great if I could…”
- “I would be very happy if you would…”
- “I would really appreciate it if…”
Step 3. Don't interrupt your mother
In any discussion, it is a tremendous mistake, not to say a huge impoliteness, to keep talking before the other person has finished talking. This is very disrespectful, and suggests that you feel you deserve to talk more and longer than others.
- Remember that your mother has the power and authority. Otherwise, your chances of getting what you want will be slim.
- Control your urge to interrupt, even when you feel that what you have to say is very important.
- Wait for your mother to complete her train of thought. Be an active listener, and absorb what she is saying.
- The more you pay attention, the more you will be able to argue back. This is much more effective than just talking about your point of view.
- To prove you're paying attention, nod your head positively and encourage her to keep talking.
Step 4. Use body language
In some cases, you may need all your resources to convince your mother, and nonverbal communication is a very effective tool when you want to persuade someone.
- Make eye contact; it shows you are paying attention.
- Uncross your arms and legs. Otherwise, you can give the impression that you are closed to discussion or distant, which is the exact opposite of what you want.
- Nod your head when your mom is saying something. This shows that you are following her reasoning.
Step 5. Be honest
Every time you lie, it makes your next achievement difficult. Be open and honest about everything, even if she won't like what you have to say. The best policy is always to have nothing to hide.