Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Reassuring Parents: Telling parents...

On Yahoo! Answers, there is a vegetarian and vegan category that I often answer questions in to help people who would like to be vegetarians. A very common question asked by teens that I have not covered yet in this how to tell your parents you would like to become a vegetarian.

I have to admit, this is a pretty tough thing for me to answer, because my parents knew I wanted to be a vegetarian. Basically, the conversation went like this:

"Mom, can I go vegetarian?"
"If you get a very well updated book on being a vegetarian, and learn the ins and outs: how to get a balanced diet, how to do this, how to do that, then yes."

So, I did my research and now here I am today. But, for some teens it might not be so easy... Here are some steps you can take to get the response you want.

1. Do your homework: No, not your algebra homework (well, of course do that too, because if you don't, most likely your parents won't want to listen to you!). I mean, you vegetarianism homework... researching! Figure out how to get a properly balanced diet, and be prepared to answer questions your parents might have about getting a proper diet. Also, make sure you stick to the diet after you tell your parents, because if you don't, they may want you to eat meat again.
2. Pick a good time: Telling them at the dinner table when there is a big hunk of steak in front of you isn't the best time. I would suggest to tell them while you aren't eating, at a time where not much is going on.
3. Sound well-educated on the subject: Chances are that this will prove to your parents that you're serious about this. Also, it will lessen their worries.
4. Offer to cook: Tell them that you can cook your own food, or eat around the meatless part of their food so that it will not be more work for them.
5. Be patient: Your parents might freak out, but most likely they wlill get used to the idea over time. Just be patient with them.
6. Calm their fears: Perhaps they might be worried you'll starve, not get enough protein, not be healthy, not enough vitamins, etc... Reassure them that these myths are not true with most vegetarians, and that you will not fall into the category that these myths do apply to. Also, you can see a nutritionist to get help!
7. If they say no... Even after all of these, your parents still might say no. If this is the case, then you can do what some teen vegetarians do: eat meat at home when they make you, but outside of the house, avoid it.

Here are some good ways to tell them:
~Cook them a well-balanced, meatless meal (maybe one that usually has meat in it), and tell them as they are enjoying it.
~Write an essay or formal presentation on why they should let you go vegetarian.

And always, always, always keep this in mind... Your parents love you, and only want what's best for you.

Hopefully, this will help you tell your parents! Also, if you have any other suggestions for telling parents, please let me know!


  1. I know, on Y!A I see those questions ALL the time! :) This is a good post, but if your parents are also worried about getting enough protein and vitamins I would also add going to a nutritionist... most kids’ health insurance covers the cost, and a nutritionist can make sure that you are eating right. (:

  2. Yeah they said ok for a month and then they were like no when the month was over because they think it is a HORRIBLE idea