Talk to a trusted adult.

It’s important that you have trusted adults in your life.When you have a problem, when something bad is happening to you, or when you are having difficult questions, you can turn to trusted adults.Your parents, teachers, and religious leaders are some of the trusted adults.To find a trusted adult, make a list of adults in your life, decide which of them makes you feel safe and respected, and who you think will listen and help you out when you have a problem.

Step 1: You should choose someone who makes you feel safe.

You need to feel safe with an adult.Think about people who make you feel safe and comfortable when looking for an adult to confide in.Sharing things with this adult will not make you feel safe or comfortable.Consider adults who have helped you in the past or who you have spoken to before.Look for signs that the person listens well, such as being compassionate or understanding, having an open body posture, and asking questions.

Step 2: Do the adult trust your opinions and ideas?

To feel comfortable talking to an adult, you will probably want someone who respects your ideas.Many adults care about what you think and feel, even though some think the feelings of adolescents don’t matter.An adult who listens to you and respects your opinion is a good choice.Have a conversation with your adult about something else.It can be anything from your favorite movie to the weather.Is the adult listening to you?Do they accept your opinions?Do they tell you you are wrong or that you don’t know what you’re talking about?If the adult thinks you have valid opinions and feelings, they could be your trusted adult.Maybe they aren’t the trusted adult you are looking for if they shut down what you say or tell you you’re wrong.

Step 3: Determine if you can talk to an adult.

You can go to trusted adults if you have a problem.The person cares about you and is a good listener.When you look at your list, decide which adults are on it.Imagine what it would be like to reveal something to this adult.What would you think about sharing this with an adult?Do you think they would listen to you?Will they help you?Will they understand?If you tell them, will they be mad at you?Are they going to tell you you’re wrong?Will they make you feel bad?The adult may not be the right adult to talk to if you think they will do these things.The person may accept you without judging you.It’s important to find a trusted adult to talk to.Some signs that the person might be judging you include a questioning look, a defensive body posture, statements that include “should,” or a disapproving tone.It is possible that someone who interacts with you in these ways is not the best person to talk to.

Step 4: Make a list of people in your life.

A list of adults in your life can be used to find a trusted adult.You don’t have to talk to them.To see what options you have, make a list.List all the adults who may be able to help you.Your list may include parents, guardians, grandparents, other family members, parents of friends, teachers, school counselors or nurses, neighbors, doctors, coaches, religious leaders, or club advisors.

Step 5: You can talk to different people.

It is possible to find different adults to talk with about different topics.Some people are more helpful with certain problems than others.You may be more comfortable talking to people who are closer to you.If there is a problem with family or friends, having different trusted adults may help.No matter what happens, you will have someone by your side.If you feel comfortable talking to someone of the same gender about sexual topics, you may be more likely to talk to a family member.You may have someone that you want to talk to about school problems, another that is more interested in body issues, and someone else that will talk about grades or difficulties in school work.

Step 6: Ask the school counselor for help.

Asking your school counselor for advice is a good way to find a trusted adult.The school counselor can give suggestions on what to look for.You can ask the counselor, “I need a trusted adult to talk to, but I don’t know how to find one.”Who is a trusted adult that I can talk to?

Step 7: What you want to say should be prepared.

Talking to an adult about difficult topics can be frightening.Before you say anything, figure out what you want to say.Write down what you want to say to the adult.This will help you get out the words you want to say.If you want to tell the adult everything, you have to figure it out.If you can come up with a few examples, please share them.It can be difficult to start a conversation, so come up with a way to do it.Do you want to explain how you are feeling?

Step 8: Don’t say what you want to say.

Practice talking to an adult if you are still nervous.While imagining that you are in front of an adult, recall what you say.Stand in front of the mirror and say what you want to say.You can practice your speech in the shower or room.It is possible to feel better about talking to someone if you are comfortable saying the words.Refer to the notes you have written about what you want to say.This can help you remember what you want to say.Think of yourself talking to an adult.When you are with the person, this can help you relax.

Step 9: It’s a good time to talk to an adult.

You should choose a good time for you and the adult after you have decided you are ready to talk.Think about the adult’s schedule.You don’t want them to have to go to work when they are busy.You can visit someone on the weekend to talk, sit down with your teacher after school, or talk to someone in the evening after work.Make sure the adult is not doing any other activities, like cooking, checking their email, or cleaning.

Step 10: Talk about safe topics.

You may want to start the conversation with a small talk.You and the adult have time to get to know each other.It may be hard for both of you to understand what you’re talking about.It’s possible to mention something related to the topic you want to discuss.You can say, for example, “We learned about eating disorders today in school” or “I saw a TV show about teens trying to decide whether or not they want to have sex.”

Step 11: Let the adult know you have something important to say.

You can tell the adult that you want to talk to them.You can tell them what you need to know.Say, “I want to talk to you about something very important” or ” I need your help with a problem.”