A few weeks ago my parents sat me down to tell me that they want to send me to a school that was far away - where I would need to stay overnight. It took me completely by surprise, I didn’t even know what to say.
Their reasons were that my dad is often away for work, and my mum is working much longer hours these days, so they were worried that I had no adult supervision at home in the afternoons. If I was at a school I could stay at, I’d have a safe space to study and concentrate on my school work.
I went through all the emotions. I was shocked (how could they do this to me?), angry (we argued and argued!), sad (I didn’t want to be so far from home) and scared (how will I cope all on my own?).
I soon realised that this emotional rollercoaster I was riding wasn’t solving anything. So I sat down and made a list of why I didn’t agree with their decision, and how I could make it work if I stayed at home and in my current school.
I took this to my parents, and we had a long conversation (this time without any shouting), weighing up all the pros and cons. I explained to them that I’m very happy at school, my grades are good and I have a close group of friends who mean a lot to me. I also asked them to trust me to still do well, even if my mum is at work till late in the evenings. My parents were really impressed with how I handled the situation. They also acknowledged my point of view. They saw that I was mature enough to voice my opinion and stand up for myself, and they gained a newfound confidence in me.
We came to an agreement that I wouldn’t have to go to boarding school, and if things got busier for my mum and dad, we’d relook at the situation.
So, next time you strongly disagree with something your parents or guardians have decided, remember that you have a right to voice your opinion. If you deal with the situation calmly, confidently and clearly, your views will be heard.