I’ve always had a very positive relationship with my parents. My mom and dad have always allowed me to express my thoughts and feelings. And usually, they are very open to new ideas and to talking to me about things. 

Even though I feel comfortable around them, I still feel stressed at times, especially when I make big decisions, because I don’t want to disappoint them.

I’ve experienced disappointing my parents before, and it didn’t feel good. Even still, our relationship recovered from those hard times, and we are in a good place now. 

My parents and I bond over many things, but one of the most important to my family was baseball.

Ever since I could walk, I have been practicing baseball, starting with my dad in the front yard and then with my league team. Playing baseball on a team was always a great experience for me and is where I met most of my closest friends.  

In other words, baseball has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Without it, I might be a very different person today. 

I loved baseball, but one day I decided I no longer wanted to play. 

When I first thought about quitting baseball, I felt kind of embarrassed because I felt that everybody in my community knew me as “the kid who is good at baseball” or “the kid who is always playing.” But that wasn’t me anymore.

It took a couple of weeks to muster up the courage to tell my parents that I no longer wanted to play on the team. 

Until one night, I decided it was time to say something. I just walked up to them and told them the truth: I no longer wanted to play.  

Each of my parents had a different reaction. My dad seemed confused but calm. My mom, on the other hand, had the exact reaction that I was hoping neither of them would have.

Even though I’m sure that both of my parents were somewhat disappointed, my dad was able to hold his emotions back, something my mom had a much harder time doing. 

Forward Together Tip: Do you find talking to your parents difficult at times? Take this quiz to find out more about how to talk to adults.

I knew that at the end of the day, my mom supported me. But in that moment, it was hard to feel that support.

Over the next few days, my mom became calmer and more collected about the situation. Still, my parents kept asking me if I was sure about my decision to quit and how sure I was. I just knew I was done.

Now, they have accepted and embraced my choice to quit playing baseball. 

Every once in a while, they will ask me if I miss playing, and I always tell them that I miss my teammates and the friends I made along the way, but in the end, I am glad I stopped.  

It was a nerve-wracking experience to tell my family that I wanted to quit, but I feel that it is important to face the fear because in the end, your parents love and support you. 

Even with the strong reaction I received from my parents at first, I know now that through all of the questions, they always had my best interest at heart.

Even though I no longer play baseball, I am glad I did talk to them because it opened me up to different experiences such as discovering tennis as a passion, which also allowed me to meet new groups of friends. 

I’m also glad that I voiced my feelings and what I wanted to my parents. It has helped our relationship to grow stronger and more honest. 

My advice to anyone who might be experiencing something similar is to express your feelings and know that everything that happens after is because your parents love you. 

4 Tips for Talking to Your Parents About Big or Tough Things

Choose a good time to talk

Just like you, your parents may be juggling many things at once. To have their full attention and allow them time to respond to you clearly and thoughtfully, think through when is the best time to talk to them about something serious.

Keep the line of communication open

It can feel easier to talk about the tough stuff when you already feel comfortable talking about the everyday things. Talking with your parents about anything on a regular basis builds trust in your relationship. 

Try writing out what you want to say

If talking to adults makes you feel nervous, writing out your thoughts and feelings ahead of time might help you to plan out the points you want to make during your conversation. Writing also provides an opportunity to reflect on how you’re feeling and why.

Talk to other trusted adults

Not everybody is close with their parents, and that’s okay! If your parents aren’t able to have a conversation with you, try reaching out to another adult that you trust.

Owen Heineman

Owen Heineman is 15 years old and lives with his family in Arvada, CO.