Maybe you made a mistake. Maybe you need some advice about something uncomfortable. It’s not always easy to approach an adult in these situations. This guide has tips for talking to a trusted adult and how to navigate their responses.
Practice what you want to say to start the conversation as well as the main points you want to be sure to include. It’s easy to leave out important details when you’re nervous or if a conversation gets heated. Say the words out loud. Try practicing in front of a mirror.
What do you want your trusted adult to do? Give advice? Help make a report? Just listen? Whatever it is, be clear about how they can help you.
You might feel embarrassed or ashamed of a mistake, or worried that if you tell the whole truth, adults will get mad or people will get in trouble, but honesty really is the best policy. Laying it all out there may even mean the problem gets solved faster because everyone has all the facts.
Answer any questions your trusted adult has about what happened, but try to keep the conversation moving and focused on what actions you and your trusted adult will take next to resolve the situation.
Try to keep calm throughout the conversation. You mayfeel nervous at the beginning, someone may get angry in the middle – that's normal. If things become too tense to move on, it’s OK to take a break and come back to the conversation. Practicing what you want to say (tip 1) will also help you stay calm during this discussion.
Learn more about online safety at MissingKids.org/NetSmartz.