If you’ve hatched the idea to take an extended period of time off after school, or quit your job to travel the world, though are nervous to tell your parents or loved ones, than this is the post for you.
1. Pick a Public Place – Your parents will be much more likely to respond in a dignified manner if you’re sharing the news in a public setting. I let the news slip out at a delicious dinner with my parents at L’Auberge Chez Francois, a popular French restaurant in Great Falls, VA.
2. Share Your Plans During a Celebration – You are excited about your news. You may have been living with the dream for several years already, however your parents may not have a clue. By choosing a celebratory time, such as during a holiday get-together, you are automatically countering a certain degree of anxiety which will naturally arise. After all, your news may be against the backdrop of love, laughter, wine drinking, and presents. The aforementioned dinner with my parents at Chez Francois was to celebrate my 27th birthday.
3. Test the News on a Supportive Relative or Friend – Unless your parents are life long hippies, they’ll likely find the idea of their son or daughter leaving the perceived safety of the homeland for the dangers of the world a bit scary. During my new age Aunt’s visit to VA, I mentioned my travel plans over a Greek dinner. Her immediate reaction was positive and supportive. Hearing her encouragement gave me the added confidence to share the plans with my parents.
4. Emphasize the Positive – Parents fundamentally want what is best for their children, and more specifically, for them to be happy (at least that is the ideal). Chances are that if you’re passionate about the idea of a backpacking trip around the world, this tip won’t require extra effort. Ensure you have a few counterpoints to the typical concerns of cost, safety, and difficulty finding work upon return home.
5. Do It Sooner Rather Than Later – The sooner you share your plans with your parents, the more time they will have to absorb it all before you leave. While not a parent myself, I’m sure they would appreciate the time to let it sink in. Involve them in the planning, and you may find they quickly become your most ardent, proud supporters! This will come in handy when you line up their home as your de-facto residence upon return.