Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

In need of persuation

  1. Dec 2, 2003 #1
    What arguments would you use to prove an adult wrong?
    Assuming that there are teenagers mature enough to take responsibility of their actions, how do they cope with parents that don't trust them in the first place?
    Note that the kid is smart enough to not do anything serious until she has got authorization from these parents, but is imprudent enough to be caught planning that which the parents don't agree with.

  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 2, 2003 #2
    i take it you or someone you know is a teenager who thinks they are mature enough to think and act for yourself/themself and wants advice on how to pursade parents that you're/they're right.

    well, first of all, the parents are always right and the teenagers are always wrong. they've been around the block a few hundred more times than you.


    how about threatening to launch a "you abused me" assault involving the police!

    just kidding. don't do that. there are adults claiming to be mature who pull crap a lot worse than that; don't stoop to their level.

    i read a book and learned a little secret that everyone knows. there is nothing a parent can do to control their children. it's just that the child may end up kicked out of the house and disowned. if a child wants something bad enough to sacrifice that, sure enough a child can get it just like someone willing to die can probably kill the president with C4 made in their garage. ok, maybe that's a stretch.

    probably wondering when i'll answer your question.

    the long, useless answer is to consult sun tzu's "the art of war" which applies to pursuasion as well.

    one quickie is to note that the most logical arguments are very often not the most pursuasive ones. you have to keep in mind the temperment of your adversary. will an appeal to an emotion work better than logic? if not emotion, then perhaps an argument that seems logical with carefully crafted fallacies. if logic is what it'll take, then construct an impeccable argument for your position.

    if you want a healthier approach, try lisening to their side of things. try to understand their side of things. this will also help if you decide to go back to arguing against it. i would also recommend being open to the possibility, however unlikely, that it indeed is you who are wrong and they who are right. believe it or not, that happens from time to time.

    i would be reluctant to give specific advice without knowing a whole lot more but an example of a possible argument might go something like this: one day, i'll be my own man/woman, and i'll have to make my own choices, right or wrong, and learn to live with the consequences of my choices (keep saying *my choices* for a hypnotic suggestion effect on the off chance that that will help). from here there are a couple of different ways to phrase what comes next:
    1. i challenge you to prove to me that that day shouldn't be today
    (here the carefully constructed fallacy is that if they can't prove it then that means you're correct)

    2. (less confrontationally) so why not today?

    the problem with the freedom to make your own decisions is that you have the freedom to make your own decisions. believe it or not, that can be a burden. well, in any case, good luck and CHOOSE WISELY.
  4. Dec 2, 2003 #3
    quick! move out, get your own place, feed, cloth, and care for yourself while you still know everything!

    JK. But if you're taking a mature stance, you have to be willing to look at both sides of the issue. So in other words put yourself in thier place and realize why they are actually taking the stand they are. Chances are there are some good reasons you'll be able to realize, possibly some that you haven't thought of. Once you have done that, I'm sure you'll find thier stance isn't just being unfair. If you still don't understand, then explain to them that you want to know the reasons. I'm sure they will tell you.

    Once you've done that, then you can present your side (logically of course) and try to offer some sort of comprimise. Obviously they are concerned with your safety, and even if they are over protective, just remember they have good intentions, and no matter mature you are, they have been around longer.

    Speaking both as a parent, and as a guy who had over-protective parents, I can feel where you're coming from. And sometimes you are in the right. But more often the parents can anticipate things you won't. Give them the benefit of the doubt, and find some common middle ground. After all, there IS something to be said for experience

    But you'll understand when you're older- Just ask mentat- he is in tune with this concept
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2003
  5. Dec 2, 2003 #4
    kinda funny how often adults don't look at both sides of the issue and how often adults are not mature.
  6. Dec 2, 2003 #5
    hey we're not perfect Every parent has thier own style though. You can't say that every parent is immature and ignores thier kid's point of view. Remember: we were kids too once upon ago, back at the beginning of time
  7. Dec 2, 2003 #6
    i can say it but i'd be wrong.

    sometimes teens are more mature than some adults. (talking 'bout really mature teens and really immature adults here.)

    if you feel like you're such a teen, imagine how mature you'll be when you're 20 years older.

    that's your parents.
  8. Dec 2, 2003 #7
    Teenagers always think they are smarter than their parents...and 99% of the time they are wrong. Do what I tell you: keep your head down, get good grades, go to college, and then feel free to screw up your life AFTER you move out, ok?
  9. Dec 2, 2003 #8


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I tend to think parents forget. I don't yet have my own kids, but I always hear - 'just wait, you'll change your opinion.' Yeah - because when you become a parent you switch modes and forget what the other side was like.

    I had unusually strict parents. The rules were asinine and I used to get yelled at for ALMOST breaking them. Seriously - once I came back 5 minutes BEFORE my curfew and got yelled at for cutting it too close. That's when I realized there was no way to please them and stopped trying.
  10. Dec 2, 2003 #9
    Sometimes, yes you're right. But the vast majority of the time, it's the other way around. The law of averages falls in our favor. And I know EVERY teen screams injustice. If we're only right 99 out of 100 times, you could see why it's better to defer to the better judgement. Besides, most fair parents are willing to make concessions and do a little give and take. Just don't try and take a mile for the inch we give.
  11. Dec 2, 2003 #10
    Yah, and when they screw up thier lives, land in jail, financial trouble, or some other catastrophe, who's the first person they call to help? Those dumb immature parents. Everyone has that experience sooner or later(or most anyways). That's when all the nagging, lecturing and unfairness finally hits home.
  12. Dec 2, 2003 #11


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus

    Having gone through almost all my teenage years ( 19 right now ), i can say that parents for the most part are right (At least mine are). Even if they sometimes aren't right, they are always looking out for your best interests. Respect what they have to say, and if you don't agree with them, sit them down and have a chat. Hopefully they will listen.

    P.S. What's with all the Miami people joining phyicsforums recently? What a small world it truly is. :smile:
  13. Dec 2, 2003 #12


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    You are still a teenager :eek:

    Boy, I am getting old
  14. Dec 2, 2003 #13
    ahh to be 19 again

  15. Dec 2, 2003 #14
    well i'll take a stab...

    Ok... and no one hold this against me.

    i happen to be one of the lucky few who can pretty much talk my way in to being allowed to do anything. My dad's the completely unreasonable always "NO" type, and my mum's the very logical type.

    So first step to getting what you want. pick the right parent. always go for the easy one. occasionally its better to go for both at once, causes confusion which can be very good depending on the parents you have, but never take on the hard one by him/herself.

    Next, battle plan. Know thy enemy. (yes, and true, parents aren't you enemy, but generally, when your trying to perseade them, its best to look at it all as one big war) so anyways, yes know your parent well. Know weaknesses, know what the like, know what things they value in people and especially in their children. Act the way they want you to act. Next, DO NOT PISS THEM OFF! worst thing you can do. The object is to wear them down, and if they get so mad that they dismiss you, you lose talking privelages and can get no where. So keep the convo at a level that won't upset them too much.

    Now that your prepared for the conversation, all you can do is present your facts and reasons in a mature pleasant manner. There are different approaches. its all like an elaborate game. honesty has almost always worked for me, so i say stick with it. But half truths work well enough if the truth just won't work.

    depending on the situation, this can be easier. you can jump over details and just skate through the convo. but i say everyone has their own methods. mine happen to work for my parents, and my best friends' parents. But, that doesn't mean it works for all. Mostly, i make them want to allow me to do things. Then play with semantics until all their excuses are invalid. when it boils down to, they just don't want me to, that's when i work with guilt trips a bit. Nothing much, but enough to make them think.

    basically though, you need a good argument. Then you need to know how to present it to the right person at the right time. Know what your willing to compromise beforehand. But, don't offer a compromise until necessary. Worst case senario, its often easier to beg forgivness than to plead for permission.
  16. Dec 2, 2003 #15


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus

    Wow Gale, that is some great advice. I wish I was as devious as you. Your just like the little girl from the movie "Problem Child 2".
  17. Dec 3, 2003 #16
    i'm truly sorry about criticizing u on a previous post, [b(] , i can't actually justify why I did it, i know that i can't make everyone agree with me.

    That is a great advice by the way. thanx

    PS: of course, thanks to everybody! i'm done with that problem, but i guess if somebody else is going through something alike, the poll can go on forever
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook