How to Convince Your Parents You Are Responsible

Two Parts:Laying the GroundworkConvincing Your Parents That You Deserve New Privileges

If your parents still treat you like a child and have a hard time seeing how much you've matured lately, you might need to take some extra steps to prove to them that you really are responsible. Whether you want to convince your parents that you are responsible enough that you have earned a new privilege, or you just want them to start treating you like more of an adult, you will need to commit yourself to being responsible and taking accountability for your actions.

Part 1
Laying the Groundwork

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    Take ownership of your education. Taking school seriously and applying yourself will help you demonstrate to your parents that you're capable of managing your time and setting goals for yourself.[1]
    • Keep your grades up and be proactive about asking your teacher for extra credit or getting a tutor if you need some help.
    • Show that you're not a slacker by taking the most challenging classes you can handle.
    • Develop good study habits and do all your homework without any reminders from your parents. Try using a planner to keep track of when you have tests and when projects are due so you will never have to cram at the last minute.
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    Take more initiative at home. Helping your parents out around the house will make their lives easier and it will help them see you as more of an adult.
    • If your parents usually wake you up in the mornings, you can show them that you're becoming more responsible by starting to use an alarm clock.[2]
    • Try cleaning your room without being asked. If you have chores that you're supposed to do on a regular basis, do them without any reminders. You can set reminders on your phone or post a calendar in your room to help you remember when you need to do your chores.[3]
    • If you make a mess, always clean up after yourself.
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    Get a job. If you start working, you will show your parents that you are responsible enough to maintain your own schedule, follow directions, and manage money. If you're an older teen, try looking for a part-time job at a restaurant or grocery store. If you're younger, you may want to consider helping neighbors with household tasks, like raking leaves, cutting the lawn, and shoveling snow.[4]
    • Show your parents that you are financially responsible by saving a portion of your income.
    • Offer to use some of your new income to contribute to expenses, such as your cell phone bill or your car insurance. This can be especially helpful if you are trying to show your parents that you are responsible enough to get a phone or start driving.
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    Learn life skills. Show your parents that you don't need as much help taking care of yourself as you used to by learning how to do things like go grocery shopping, cook your own dinner, or do your own laundry.[5]
    • If you don't know how to do something, ask your parents to show you. They can teach you how to use everyday machines like the washing machine or lawn mower, or even teach you more specialized household skills, like how to paint a room or how to unclog a drain.
    • If you want to start driving, ask your parents to show you skills you will need to know on the road, like how to change a flat tire or how to add extra oil or windshield washer fluid to the car.
    • Offer to help your parents out with these kinds of tasks, especially if they seem overwhelmed.
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    Follow through. If you want your parents to trust you, you will have to make sure that you always follow through on all of your promises. If you say that you will clean your room by Friday, make sure it gets done! Be careful about making promises that you can't keep.
    • If you use a planner for school, try adding in other obligations as well to help you better manage your time.[6]
    • Being punctual is also extremely important. If you do everything you say you will do, but you're always late or you aren't able to stick to deadlines, you won't seem very responsible.[7]
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    Don't get into trouble. Nobody expects you to be perfect, but do your best to make the right decisions and avoid socializing with people who will get you into trouble.
    • If you make a mistake, own up to it and tell your parents what you've learned from the experience.
    • Instead of hiding things from them, be open and honest with your parents about the struggles that you face as a tween or teen. Tell them about times when you did the right thing, even though it was a hard decision.
    • If you need advice on how to deal with issues like bullying at your school or drugs and alcohol, it's often good to ask your parents. If you don't feel comfortable discussing these kinds of issues with them, find another trusted adult, like a teacher, coach, or another relative.

Part 2
Convincing Your Parents That You Deserve New Privileges

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    Do some research. If your goal is to convince your parents that you are responsible so that they will let you do something, like start dating, or let you get something, like a cell phone or a pet, read up on the topic so you will be able to prepare a good argument.[8]
    • If there is a cost associated with the thing you want, make sure you know exactly how much it is and where you can get the best deal.
    • If you want a pet, make a detailed list of all of the tasks that will need to be done to take care of it, and indicate who will do each of the tasks and when.
    • Try to anticipate some of the objections your parents might have, and prepare responses accordingly. For example, if you think your parents will be worried that you will be in danger if you go to the mall with your friends, look into what kind of security the mall has.
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    Start the discussion. Tell your parents exactly what you would like and why you think you deserve the new privilege. Come prepared with all of your research and try offering examples of how you have been responsible in similar situations in the past.
    • Make sure your parents have time to talk when you approach them. Try saying something like, "I would like to talk to you about something important. Is now a good time?"
    • Once you have their full attention, let your parents know exactly what it is you are asking for and what you are willing to do to earn the privilege. Try saying something like, "I think I am old enough and responsible enough to start going out with my friends alone. I promise to be very careful and always be home before my curfew."
    • If you have had this discussion with your parents before, try to start the conversation by acknowledging the objections they have had in the past and explaining what has changed. For example, you can say, "I know that you did not want to buy me a phone last month, but I have been working hard to save some money to help pay for it and I am willing to agree to whatever rules you impose."
    • Find out what your parents' concerns are and try negotiating by creating a set of rules by which you will abide. For example, if you are asking your parents for a phone, you may have to agree to let them read your text messages. If you are asking for driving privileges, you may have to agree to a curfew.[9]
    • Be willing to offer something in return. This can involve contributing money towards the purchase of something you want or offering to do extra chores around the house in exchange for a new privilege.
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    Take small steps. If your parents don't want to grant you the new privilege, try asking for something that they might feel more comfortable with first. For example, if your parents don't feel comfortable leaving you alone without a babysitter for the weekend, try asking them if you can stay at home alone for an afternoon.
    • Be extra vigilant about following all of your parents' rules and living up to all your promises if your parents agree to a slightly lesser privilege. It may take you a little while to earn their trust, but if you can demonstrate that you are consistently acting responsibly whenever you are given a new privilege, you're more likely to get what you really want eventually.
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    Be patient. Continue taking on more responsibilities around the house and at school to show your parents that you are not just pretending to be responsible so they will give you what you want.
    • Bring the topic up every so often, but don't harass your parents about the privilege you want because they will probably get annoyed and not want to discuss it.
    • If you finally do get what you want, you need to continue to be just as responsible, or even more responsible, than you were before. If you betray your parents' trust, you will probably lose the privilege and have a much harder time convincing them that you are responsible in the future.


  • In order to be convincing, you will actually need to be responsible. You can't just act the part for a few days and expect your parents to believe you.
  • All parents are different. If yours are extremely overprotective, you might need to work a little harder. Try having a heart-to-heart with them, and be sure to focus on the reasons why you deserve certain privileges, instead of focusing on what your friends are allowed to do.

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Categories: Improving Relations with Parents | Money Management for Young People