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Expect denial and possible anger

Resolve beforehand to remain calm.

If you think this conversation will be uncomfortable for you, imagine how uncomfortable it will make your teenager. Be prepared for your teen to say things to shock you, to flat-out deny even the most convincing evidence, accuse you of distrust, and more. It’s a good idea to think about how you’re going to handle these responses

  • The most important thing is to keep the conversation going
  • Resolve to remain calm, no matter what your teen says
  • Try not to be baited to respond with anger of your own
  • If the conversation gets too heated, end it and bring it up later
  • If you find the discussion is too emotional and heated and not productive, figure out what you need to do for you or your child to calm down. For some people it may be walking away temporarily or putting the conversation on hold; for some it may be counting to ten or taking a deep breath. Figure out what’s going to work best for you and your child before you start the conversation. If you’re struggling, talk to a counselor to help you find de-escalation techniques that are effective and work naturally for you.
  • Don’t forget to tell your teen that you love her, and this is why you are concerned.


It’s normal for your child to be angry, but it’s important for you to remain firm.

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