School is an important part of your life.[1] You want to make sure that you’re somewhere you feel comfortable and enjoy. It might take time to convince your parents that you need to switch schools, but if you have good reasons and a good argument, you can successfully help them to understand why you want to change schools.

Part 1
Part 1 of 3:

Planning Your Argument for Changing Schools

  1. [2] Before you can make a good argument with your parents, you need to understand why you really want to change schools. You need to be able to state this reason clearly. Some reasons you might want to change schools include:
    • You’ve been dealing with bullying, and you don’t think it’s going to get better or you don’t feel comfortable staying around those people.
    • Before asking your parents make sure your certain you'd like to switch (writing pros and cons may help). If you know this school will cost money, show them how much you want to go to this school despite the cost.
    • You feel lost in the crowd of a large school with large classes, and you’d like a smaller environment.
    • You feel like the school is too strict/nice and they never listen to your opinion.
    • You don’t think your school is helping you academically. You might need a more challenging school or a school where you could have more individualized help.
    • There’s another school that has programs you’re really interested in, like a superior drama, music, art, band, or sports program.
    • The social environment is not what you want, maybe you don't have a lot of friends or have different views than your peers. When presenting this reason, word it carefully so it doesn't give your parents the idea that you just want to party. Don't say it like the only thing in school is about having friends, either. Tell them you need a study buddy, and no one at your current school is willing to help you out.
    • As you are writing down this reason, make sure it is important enough to switch. For example, if you just don’t like math, and your school gives you a lot of homework, that’s not a good reason to switch. Or, if your boyfriend or best friend goes to a different school, this is not necessarily a good enough reason to switch.
  2. This will affect how you approach your parents about your situations. If you give your parents exact dates that you want to change schools, it will make it easier for them to say yes and not put off letting you switch.
    • If you’re being bullied, you might want to make a mid-year switch.
    • However, if you want to change to a school that will push you more academically, then you could consider switching for the next academic year, as this will be easier to arrange.
    • Make a calendar on a piece of paper, or print out a calendar, and write the date you want to switch schools. Then, write down a date to have a conversation with your parents about changing. You want to give them as much advance notice as possible, at least a few months.
  3. [3] Before you talk to your parents about switching schools, you want to look at alternative schools you might like to attend.
    • That way, you can tell your parents why you’d like to go to a different school.
    • Look at schools based on your reason for switching. For example, if you want to change schools because you don’t feel challenged academically, look at schools that have a lot of honors programs.
  4. It can be tempting to only talk about all the bad things about your experience at your current school. While it’s important to tell your parents what’s going on to make you want to switch, you also want to show them the benefits of changing.
    • Write a list of all the good things you find out about other schools.
    • If you have friends, or even friends on Facebook, that go to schools you’d like to consider, ask them to tell you what they like about the school, so you can pass it along to your parents.
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Part 2
Part 2 of 3:

Scripting Your Conversation

  1. You should approach this conversation almost like you are preparing to give an important speech.[4] You want to write out how you want the conversation to go. Visualize it going well.
    • Practice saying all your reasons out loud to yourself in the mirror or to a friend.
  2. You want to get your parent's full attention as you convince them to help you in switching schools.
    • Say something like, “Hey, Mom and Dad! Can we all sit down at the table together? I have something I’d like to talk about with you, and I’d really love to hear what you think.”
    • You want to let your parents know that this is important to you and that you appreciate them listening to your thoughts.
  3. Even if your parents don’t respond at first, you don’t want to come across as whiney because this will make it less likely that your parents will support you in switching schools. At the same time, be honest.[5] You want them to know how much staying in your current situation will hurt you. Make your statements sincere and to-the-point.
    • If you’re being bullied, don’t be too embarrassed to show them how much it’s affecting your performance at school and how much it hurts you.
    • Say something like, “There is a group of kids in my class that writes mean notes to me every day and steal things out of my desk. They call me names, and it makes me sad. I’ve asked them to stop, and I’ve talked to the teacher, but they still do it behind her back. I have a hard time enjoying school or focusing because I can’t stop thinking about it.”
    • If you think you need a school with more academic attention say something like, “I’ve been having a hard time finishing my work in school because I don’t understand it. There are so many kids in my class that the teacher usually doesn’t have time to help me.”
    • Or, if you want more of a challenge, say, “I get all A’s at school because the work is too easy. I finish all my work first, and I end up just sitting there in class. My teacher doesn’t have time to make special assignments for me.”
  4. These are the reasons that changing would improve your overall life. Some examples of positive reasons to practice might be:
    • “I’m really interested in learning to play music. Jackson Middle School has the best band program in the state, and it’s only ten minutes away. I’d really get to work on my skills there.”
    • “St. John’s School only has 10 students in each class. If I went there, I’d be able to get more help with my work, and my grades would get better.”
    • “Central Middle School has a lot of science and math classes I could take. They even have a Physics class. I want to be an engineer one day, and it’s never too early to start learning.”
  5. You don’t want your parents to have to decide right then whether you can change. That pressure will make them more likely to say “no” out of convenience.
    • End the conversation with a statement like: “Thanks for listening to me. Take some time to think about what I said, and let me know what you think. I really hope you’ll think about letting me change schools”
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Part 3
Part 3 of 3:

Approaching Your Parents

  1. When you sit down to talk to your parents about schools, you don’t want them to be completely surprised by the fact that you want to change. If you have an emergency, like severe bullying, you should talk to your parents immediately. Otherwise, let them get a sense of your situation before you ask them to talk with you.
    • Make it clear to them that you’re unhappy in your school.
    • Every day, tell them one little thing that bothered you at school when they ask about your day. For example, let them know, “We got our math tests back today, and I didn’t do so well. I went to ask my teacher a few questions about what I got wrong, but she didn’t have time to talk to me.”
  2. [6] This is a classic part of persuasion in any situation. Be especially kind to your parents in the few weeks before you want to actually ask them to switch schools.
    • Don’t argue with them or talk back to them.
    • Do the little things they ask the first time like cleaning your room and picking up after yourself.
  3. You don’t want to sit down and talk to your parents about switching schools while they are stressed or in a hurry. Find them when they are relaxing and ask them if they have a minute to talk to you.
    • For example, a good time to talk might be after dinner once everyone is full and the house is clean.
  4. Sometimes it can be difficult to talk to your parents about certain situations. This especially helps if you’re not sure how to let your parents know you’re being bulled.
    • After you give them the letter, they’ll come to approach the conversation with you. This can take some of the pressure off of starting a serious conversation.
    • Especially if you’re being bullied, you can use a letter to let your parents know exactly what your bullies are doing to you, so you don’t have to say it out loud, but your parents will still know how serious your situation is.
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Community Q&A

  • Question
    I am scared of going to school and want to leave, but I don't want my parents to be upset with me because they tried so hard to get me into my school.
    Community Answer
    Community Answer
    Your parents want you to be happy in your school. I'm sure that's why they tried so hard to get you into it in the first place. They would want you to talk to them about your fear of going to school and why you want to leave so they can help you.
  • Question
    How do I tell my mum that I'm being bullied?
    Community Answer
    Community Answer
    If you have a hard time talking about it, try writing it down and giving her a note.
  • Question
    I want to change schools to be with my boyfriend, but my mom doesn't know I have a boyfriend. What should I do?
    Community Answer
    Community Answer
    This might not be the best reason to change schools. Consider telling your mom you have a boyfriend, so you can find other ways to spend more time with him.


  • Don't tell anyone until it is final.
  • If there's a serious problem that needs to be dealt with or stopped, tell your parents about it even if it's embarrassing. If you’re being bullied, don’t wait to broach the subject. Tell them immediately.
  • If you want to go to a private school, be sensitive about your parents' financial situation, and stay open to other possibilities.

Expert Interview

Thanks for reading our article! If you’d like to learn more about family life, check out our in-depth interview with Lauren Urban, LCSW.

About This Article

Lauren Urban, LCSW
Co-authored by:
Licensed Psychotherapist
This article was co-authored by Lauren Urban, LCSW. Lauren Urban is a licensed psychotherapist in Brooklyn, New York, with over 13 years of therapy experience working with children, families, couples, and individuals. She received her Masters in Social Work from Hunter College in 2006, and specializes in working with the LGBTQIA community and with clients in recovery or considering recovery for drug and alcohol use. This article has been viewed 418,813 times.
1,077 votes - 69%
Co-authors: 68
Updated: August 22, 2023
Views: 418,813
Article SummaryX

To convince your parents to let you change schools, make sure you choose a good time to talk to them about it and come up with a strong reason. Instead of jumping straight into a serious conversation, gradually let your parents know over time that you’re unhappy with your school. For example, regularly tell them about things that bother you, such as your teacher not having enough time to answer your questions or bullying problems. Then, pick a time when your parents are relaxed to raise the issue, like after dinner. Start the conversation by telling them the reason you want to change, such as bullying or the school’s low academic level. Instead of only speaking about the negative things, tell your parents what would be better about your new school, which will show them you’ve really thought about what changing schools would mean. At the end of your conversation, encourage your parents to think about what you’ve said, since they may need some time to come to a decision. for tips on how to research other schools you could attend, keep reading!

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