How to Convince Your Parents to Get You a Phone

What to Expect?

This article is your comprehensive guide on how to convince your parents to get you a phone. The steps outlined here follow a specific order as these persuasion techniques work most effectively in this sequence.

However, remember that challenging conversations can be unpredictable, so don’t hesitate to remain flexible. Use this article as a general roadmap, adapting your approach to the situation at hand.

Here are the steps to successfully convince your parents to get you a phone:

Steps: How to Convince Your Parents to Get You a Phone

1. Ethics (improve your chances)

Many animals, including humans, have evolved to possess ethical behavior. Why is this? It’s because, during repeated interactions with others, being ethical can enhance your prospects of improved well-being. It’s worth thinking about.

Enough of the abstract discussion. It’s time to focus on specifics.

I don’t want you to manipulate your parents; I want you to persuade them.


There’s a significant difference between manipulation and persuasion. Manipulation involves lying and misleading to convince others. On the other hand, persuasion does not involve lying or misleading to convince others.

You’ll be persuading your parents. Plan the following to begin:

  1. Understand your parents’ budget and avoid burdening them: Staying within their budget not only increases your chances of getting a phone but also ensures their well-being and reduces family conflicts due to financial stress.

  2. Explore more affordable smartphone options: You can get a smartphone of comparable quality for half the cost if you’re willing to forgo features you never needed in the first place.

    For instance, consider getting a Google Pixel instead of an iPhone. It offers a camera of nearly the same quality, if not better, and it’s half the price.

  3. Prepare multiple smartphone options: Find the one you desire, a pricier alternative, and a more budget-friendly choice. This information will help you in the process later.

2. Plant the Idea Indirectly

When it comes to persuading your parents to get you a phone, you can’t directly jump to the request. That’s a surefire way to failure.

Instead, you’ll strategically use psychological techniques to boost the odds of your parents agreeing.

This guide will walk you through creating a comprehensive step-by-step plan, from presenting compelling evidence to setting an anchor point.

This will take at least three days. On the final day, you’ll make your request.

2.1. Expose Your Parents to Social Proof

Do you know how we sometimes do things because we see others doing them? This phenomenon is called social proof.

It’s like when we pick a course because everyone else is choosing it, or when we try a new food because everyone else is trying it.

You can use this tool to show your parents that having a smartphone is pretty normal for your peer group.

Start by finding examples that could help your argument. Maybe one of your classmates, who your parents know, just got a new smartphone.

Don’t just tell them straight up – instead, bring it up naturally in conversation, and give your parents a chance to ask about it.

Show them a picture of your buddy Jimmy grinning with his new phone, or play that awesome slow-motion video that Katherine made with her Samsung Galaxy. This might get your parents to wonder, ‘How did she make that amazing video?’

Even if they don’t ask right away, seeing these things might make them start thinking about it without even realizing it.

2.2. Subtly Communicate Your Daily Smartphone Struggles


People are more likely to believe you if they experience the evidence firsthand. Your parents’ personal experiences will be more convincing than a secondhand account of how Mark never needs to edit his photos to look good.

We’ll use this psychological phenomenon to give your parents firsthand experience of your “smartphone problems.”

You’ll hint at the issues you face due to not having a phone or having an outdated one, spread out over different days.

Spreading it out makes the situation seem more natural, and your final request will appear more persuasive. This is why we’ve divided it into three steps.

Here are some examples of how you can hint at your “smartphone problems”:

  1. If you don’t have a smartphone, you could tell your parents how you were unable to call or inform them about something significant. You might also mention how you witnessed something important or interesting but couldn’t take a picture of it. You can say, “I wish I could show you a picture of it.”

  2. If you have an old phone, you can express how your current smartphone takes a long time to open the camera app, causing you to miss important moments.

  3. If you have an old phone, try to use an app you know will lag in front of them. Try opening many tabs in Chrome or have many apps open in the background. When they ask you to search “What is Resveratrol used for?”, you can tell them, “Wait, my phone is lagging.”

  4. If you have no smartphone, you can ask your mom for her phone to study when she’s having the time of her life watching Instagram Reels.

You can come up with hundreds of such examples to show your parents the evidence that a personal phone might be helpful, without directly saying it.

Be sure to spread out the instances to make it all seem natural. You’re not lying or misleading them; these are real problems you’re facing.

3. Presentation (The Final Move)

Stories often convince people more than just facts, especially if they’re not too into numbers and analysis – which is most of us.

So, when you’re ready to ask your parents for a new phone, tell them a story instead of just listing the facts.

All you need to do is talk about what you’ve been up to the last few days (and before), and how it made you feel, leading up to why a new phone would help. It’s easy, just like telling a friend about your week.

Now we’ll craft your story, equipped with psychological strategies that are astonishingly effective. Here are the steps for constructing your story:

3.1. The Accusation Audit

Now, let’s dive into the final steps on how to convince your parents to get you a phone, starting with understanding their perspective.

The Accusation Audit is a tool by the FBI negotiator Chris Voss and a part of his broader concept of Tactical Empathy.

The Accusation Audit
By Chris Voss


Using this tool you try to see things from the other person’s viewpoint and speak on it tactfully. It’s especially handy for kicking off tough talks.

You lay out all the worries or negative thoughts the other person might have about what you’re asking.

When you talk to your parents about getting a phone, you’ll use this approach to bring up their worries before they do. You might say something like, “I get that you think I’m too young for a smartphone, and you’re concerned about how I’ll use it, but let me explain the troubles I’m facing without one…”

Or, “I know we’re saving up for the house, and it might seem like I don’t get how important saving is, but I’m really having a hard time every day without a phone…”

3.2. Evidence

For the second part, you’ll quickly remind them of the issues you’re facing, the ones you’ve already shown them in the past few days. Here’s how you might approach it:

“After mentioning your concerns, let me go over the problems I run into without a phone, like the other day when…”


It’s normal for the conversation to veer off course with interruptions or new subjects popping up. That’s not messing up; it’s just how these talks go. Don’t worry about sticking to a script or using these strategies in a set order. Adapt to the flow of the conversation. Negotiation is a two-way street; your parents will shape the discussion as much as you do.

3.3. Create an Anchor Point

When you’ve talked about the problems you’re facing without a smartphone, the next step is to ask for an expensive one. This is your anchor point — the first option you present, setting the stage for the whole conversation.

It’s a bit like showing the most expensive item first at a store, so everything else seems more reasonable after that.

Keep in mind you’ve got other options too, like the more affordable ones you selected, which you’ll bring up if the first one doesn’t fly.

This way, you’re giving a range, and by comparison, your main choice will seem like a more sensible ask.

3.4. Connect it to Their Values

You’ll want to highlight the benefits of having a phone and connect these benefits to what your parents value most.

  • If your mom values education, explain how a smartphone would be a tool for better learning.

  • If your dad is concerned about safety, discuss how the phone can keep you connected for safety reasons.

  • And if you already have a slow phone, you can talk about how a new, faster one could save time for your studies.

Use what you know about your parents’ priorities to make your case. These are just ideas to guide your thinking, but since you know your parents best, you can tailor your points to what matters most to them.

3.5. Social Proof

Bringing in social proof can be a strong part of your argument. Mention how some of your friends have gotten new phones, and how their parents saw it as a good decision.

This not only shows that you’re not alone in wanting a phone but also helps address concerns about the risks.

It suggests that getting a smartphone is a common and safe choice for someone your age, which can make the idea more comfortable for your parents.


Keep the conversation flexible. Listen to your parents’ input—they might have valid points about affordability or concerns about social media use. Every family’s situation is different, so stay open to where the discussion leads. You might need to think on your feet and adapt your approach. Good luck!

Conclusion (Further Self-Improvement)

Using all these psychological techniques will maximize your chances of persuading or convincing your parents to get you a phone.

You can use these tools in other situations as well. For more tools from the world’s best minds, browse here.

To receive self-improvement tools and tactics directly in your inbox, subscribe below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *