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By Eloke-Young Splendor

Great families make great societies.

Every criminal and ill-mannered citizen of a country is of course the product of a family. This therefore, emphasizes the need to have a society filled with highly knowledgeable and purpose driven parents who have given themselves to learning about what it takes to parent a 21st century Teenager.

It is impossible to see a mother who does not want to be referred to as the “best mom ever” even though in these recent times that phrase does not actually validate a woman’s skills of being the ideal model of a top-notch parent. For every single activity on the planet earth, as well as parenting too, a particular skill or even various skills are required for an individual to remain on top of her game.  

As a 21st century parent who desires to raise well-mannered teenage daughters, who will eventually grow into responsible adults, you must be able to identify the vital qualities needed for parenting.

Take a look at 5 vital things you must know about parenting a 21st Century Teenager: –

  1. The 21st century Teenager always has an Ever-Willing 24hrs Teacher So Stay Current to Remain Relevant:  It is very true that the Internet has become an ever-willing 24 hours’ teacher to both Teens and adults. It is therefore, no news that a 13 years old in this 21st century can own a tablet or a phone and trust me they are quick to surf the internet at any given time, considering the inquisitive nature that comes with being a teenager. Many times teenagers already know about their puberty signs, the risks that comes with being careless with their bodies at teen stages and even possible hormonal changes that come with growth; even before you think of beginning your own lecture. The 21st Century teenager is highly informed by the limitless social media platforms available these days, therefore as a mother whose desire is to ever remain a relevant solution provider to her children, you must keep abreast of the current trends relating to teenagers and their development as well as do everything within your power to become your daughter’s number one teacher especially when it comes to life matters. Your inability to stay current will adversely cause your inquisitive teenager to turn to her ever-willing 24hours teacher.
  2. The 21st Century Teenager Will Always Tend To Believe their Peers Over You: Last weekend I visited a childhood friend who had been so worked up over her daughter’s sudden change in eating habit. She complained bitterly of how her 14 years old will hardly want to eat any food just because she was referred to as obese by her friends in school. According to Mrs B, she had done all she could to let her know that she was just big, bold and beautiful yet her opinion seemed not to matter to the little girl, as far as she was concerned her friends knew the current trend and their opinions mattered most.  One thing you must know about the 21st Century teenage girl is that more than your approval, they also seek the approval of their peers and friends too. Proving yourself to your teenager in this 21st Century is very unnecessary seeing that no 21st century young girl wants to be known as mummy’s baby; no not at the age of 16.
  3. The Rules Do Not Come Without a Reason: One of the questions that will always remain on the lips of a 21st Century teenager is “Why?” Gone are the days when children especially teenagers; do not question the instructions and decisions of their parents; in this new era every teenager wants to know Why this, and Why that.  Children of nowadays are so inquisitive that they will always want to find out the reason behind every instruction, rule and even the reason behind the so-called Curfew. These days most teenagers if not all, do not just want to be told “do it because I said so”.  In parenting a 21st century teenager, rules must be followed with genuine reasons in order for it to be effectively carried out. The wise 21st century mum is one who will not spell out rules that are born out of imaginative and selfish reasons which are aimed at pushing the child away and restricting her freedom.
  4. Her Emotions Scream Louder Than Your Threats and Warnings: –    As parents of a teenage girl you must understand that teenage girls can respond to emotional issues in ways that seem so baffling and confusing.  A teenage girl with raging and rising hormones as well as emotions will not consider your threats and warnings before making decisions or even taking a step that is detrimental to her life.  When raising a 21st Century teenager, you must learn to take her emotions very seriously, sometimes these emotions may be voiced in meaningless words but wise parents must learn to see beyond their teenager’s words and try to decipher how they really feel and what they truly mean beyond those words. Here’s the bottom line: What your daughter broadcasts matches what she actually experiences. Really, it’s just that intense, so take her feelings seriously, regardless of how overblown they might seem knowing that, even your threats and warnings cannot shut up those emotions. Threats and warnings can create a great distance between mothers and their teenage daughters.
  5. Your Teenage Daughter Greatly Needs Your Approval: –  It is very okay to discipline your teenage daughters whenever they are wrong notwithstanding, you ought to also remember they are in dire need of your approval. Clear, well-timed messages of affirmation are vital for a young person’s sense of self-worth and confidence. In parenting a 21st- century teenager, you must be able to translate your positive feelings to her in a manner that will make a lasting difference.  A superb 21st-century mum is one who recognizes the right time to use words such as I love you, you are beautiful, you are so strong and many others. Also, you must note that these words of encouragement need to be linked to an observed act or demonstrated capacity in order to make it more believable and acceptable by your teen.

Generally, parenting in the 21st century have been likened to bed of roughly thorned roses as it requires a lot of skillfulness to navigate this stage successfully since it can also come with some level of pains too. Nevertheless, a mother who have mastered the vital needs of her teenager and is also well prepared as well as informed about the surprises that might spring up in the process; raising a teenager will suddenly become a journey in parenting she will love to explore over and over again.

Mrs. Leen has just discovered that she has to put up with Catherine’s new attitude and choices which include; spending more time with her friends than mum, suddenly becoming very secretive, isolation, and a very short temper.  This situation is not peculiar to Mrs. Leen. Most mothers of teenage daughters are facing or will face this predicament some time.

The thoughts of parenting a teenager can be scary for most mothers. This is the point where you get fired as the boss in their lives. Notwithstanding, if you have done a great job you could also get rehired as a trusted friend and advisor, then if you continue to do a good job, your teen may even take your advice for every of her life decision.

It is therefore very important for mothers of teenagers to possess some very vital skills, which will keep them on the prestigious pedestal as impactful leaders, advisors, friend and best mothers to their teenage daughters.   

Here are 4 Vital Skills to be possessed by mothers of teenagers

1. The Skill of Patience & Persistence: If you are ready to raise a teenager then you must be ready to get pushed to the wall.  As a mother of teens, be prepared to see your teenage daughter break your rules as well as get mad at you for no just cause. Nevertheless, you must never run out of patience no matter what, you must continue to persist on the rules and the need for it to be obeyed to the later. Smart mothers with teenage children always make enough room for their young girls’ mistakes as this enables them to parent their teenage daughter with the required patience and persistence. Persistence here involves being firm on your decisions, rules and even sanctions. In parenting a teenage girl, you must be decisive enough about your laid down rules as well as patient enough to see it being followed up.

2. The Skill of Absolute Trust:  Mothers who wish to build a healthy and highly impactful relationship with their teenagers will try their best to always showcase the skill of absolute trust in their teenage daughters.  The character of being a nosy mum is highly detested especially when relating to teenagers. The skill of trust promotes openness in the relationship between a mother and her teenage daughter. Trust also involves that you believe the best for your teen daughter so you don’t always put on the glasses of suspicion each time you are relating with her.

3. Quick to Adopt the Mirror Method:  Those who have successfully passed through the stage of raising teenage girls have in one way or the other employed the mirror method in the upbringing of their daughters. Gone are the days when teenagers want to be brought up with the adage of “Do what I say and not what I do”.  The best way to instill the right lifestyle in your teenager is by becoming a model of the best attitudes she should emulate.  The mirror method involves living out an exemplary lifestyle, in which your teenage daughter will follow suit. In this 21st century, teenagers no longer want to do as they are told rather they love to pattern after what they see.  A smart mum who wants the best for her teenage daughter will always work to remain the standing mirror that reflects a well-cultured life for her teenager.

4. Keep Your Emotions Intact: Showing a teenager the routes to becoming caring, independent and emerging into a responsible adult is definitely not an easy task. This task can almost rob you of your emotional stability but you have the duty of keeping your emotions intact. It is true she might roll her eyes so much that you’ll swear they might get stuck in the back of her head at some point but rather than raising your voice in order to prove your point, it is far better to calm down and resolve every issue with a discussion.

Trust me parenting a teenage daughter can be so frustrating sometimes, nevertheless, mothers of these teen girls must braze up themselves, recognizing the fact that teenage years are also the most impactful and interesting stage in parenting a child.

 By: Eloke-Young Splendor

2 hours to the scheduled time of the party, she had a long warm bath and took time with the ritual of her makeup and dressing. Her dad was meant to drop her off at her friend’s house and she did not want to keep him waiting for too long. As she walked out of her room to the sitting room, she could not help smiling at the image of herself she saw on the mirror. She was certain she will make a statement with her dress.

You’re wearing that?’’ Her dad blurts out as soon as she walks into the sitting room.

Yes dad, she replied, you like it?

Like what?’’ her dad retorted, almost repulsed at the thought of ever liking such an ‘’outrageous outfit’’. You can’t go out in that.

Why not? Sheba whines. This is what all the other girls are wearing; I want to make a statement too.

Well, I don’t like what it’s stating! ‘’ Dad shoots back.  ‘’Now go back to your room and change, young lady, or you’re not going anywhere!’’

Wardrobe wars like the just described scenario are common between teenage girls and their parents. Do not be surprised that your own parents even fought the same war with their parents, and probably felt the same way you are feeling now.

The issue of dressing and grooming causes one skirmish after another.

You call it comfortable, they call it sloppy.

You call it adorable, they call it provocative, you tell them it’s half price, they say it should be, as half of it is missing.

So how can you declare a cease fire when wardrobe wars arise?

You and your parents can reach a compromise.

Discuss your differences and brainstorm other options that your parents—and you—can be happy with. This can yield the following benefits;

  1. You’ll look your best, even to your peers.
  2. Your parents will be less critical of your dressing.
  3. Seeing your responsibility in this area can get them to give you more freedom.

Do you realize the first impression you make on people often depends on what you are wearing? An outrageous outfit might give you a momentary cool feeling, but it’s your inner beauty that will win the long-term respect of adults and your peers.

It will also be wise to get your parents input on your choice of dressing. You could think of stuffing a daring outfit into your backpack and changing into it at school or outside home, but that will be a recipe for more disaster if your parents ever get to find out. More so, they will lose all trust in you and you do not want that, do you? You will gain more trust and respect from your parents if you’re open and honest with them, even in things that you think you could get away with.

You might feel your parents are hell bent on stifling your fashion sense, but that is almost hardly the case. True, they might have different perspectives from you, but sometimes that’s what you really need. You do not want to walk out the house embarrassing yourself or being the one people are talking about negatively because of your sloppy appearance.

And besides, as long as you are under their roof, you remain under their authority.

So, the next time you want to buy a piece of clothing you feel your parents will frown at, ask yourself why you really need that particular cloth.

But what if my parents are just being old fashioned, you may ask?

Getting an adult friend or relative who has good taste in clothing and whom you know your parents trust and respect to talk to them might help.

Deep respect for your parents and a balanced view of what others think about you will help you choose modest cloths that will reduce the wardrobe wars.

 

Kimmy Tom

It’s Thursday night. 16 years old Kim has just finished her house chores and was looking forward to some well-deserved down-time. She had her bath in a hurry and quickly slipped into the closest night-wear in sight , rushed to the sitting room, collapsed into her favorite chair and turned on the TV  just in time for her much loved TV series.

Image Source- Daniel Wong

As if on cue, her mum walked into the sitting room with an angry face and tone. Kim! You are so lazy, all you know how to do well is watch TV. You arranged the dishes wrongly and I almost slipped because you left so much water on the kitchen floor. You do not take corrections and I hate to say you will make a bad wife if you continue like this.

Not again tonight, Kim mutters, rolling her eyes.

Her mum will not have any of that. Did you just roll your eyes at me?

Give me a break mum, Kim retorted, this time loud enough to be heard clearly by mum.

Do not use that tone with me or .., Kim did not let her mum finish, what about the tone you are using with me she yelled back, putting off the TV and making to head to her room.

Mum was in her way. What, now you want to walk out on me?

Kim sat down back and burst into tears, down –time was over.

This is a familiar scenario between most teenage girls and their parents.

According to an article by how-stuff-works.com, ‘’ Conflicts between teens and parents can arise over friends, social life, school issues, sex, and just about anything that the parents aren’t used to and don’t like. It takes time to adjust, and the process usually involves fights and disagreements that are really based on parents wanting to keep their children safe, protect them and help them become responsible adults’’.

Regardless of the cause of conflict, arguing will most often than not leave both you and your parents feeling awful. Does this then mean that teenagers should just put on a show of agreeing with everything their parents say? Not necessarily.

How, then can teenagers express themselves without turning everyday conversation into a warfare?

That’s for my parents to worry about; after all they are the ones always nagging me, you might reason.

If you consider how little control you have over your parents, you will realize that the best way to handle this conflicts is by changing ‘’yourself’’.

The following suggestions might help.

1. Always pause and think before responding;   do not always blurt out the first thing that comes to mind when you feel your parents are attacking you. You could try counting a silent 1-5 before responding. How could Kim, mentioned at the beginning handle the scenario better?  Perhaps Kim’s mum felt frustrated and burdened with more than her share of the housework? Or it could be that she wanted her daughter’s reassurance that she was willing to support with the chores especially when it gets overwhelming. At times like these, why it’s easy for you to get angry too, quickly call to mind that two wrongs won’t make a right. Instead of a curt retort, try to put your mum at ease.

Let’s say Kim said something like, ‘’ I’m sorry mum, I dint realize the dishes were not properly placed. Can I please rearrange them and mop the kitchen floor after this program?  Or Mum, I can see you are really upset and I am sorry I caused it. I really was looking forward to this program; can I get back to that as soon as it ends? This kind of respond will more likely soften the heart of your parent and might even make them apologize for yelling at first.

2. Speak Respectfully: Parents feel hurt when they perceive the slightest disrespect in attitude or tone.  It will help if you speak slowly, in a mild tone and avoid rolling your eyes or giving other non-verbal indications of your annoyance. Always pray for self-control so you don’t end up adding fuel to the fire.

3. Listen:  ‘’ Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret’’.

If you do not want to make this epoch making regret later speech, keep quiet and listen.

Give your parent a chance to speak and while they are it, give them your full attention. Do not interrupt them and try to justify your actions. You will have time to explain your viewpoint when they are done talking and if it is absolutely necessary to do so. For now, just give them your undivided attention.

4. Apologize: You should always be ready to apologize even when you feel you have done nothing to warrant the conflict. You can even say you are sorry that there is any conflict at all. You can send an apology text or leave an apology note if it’s hard for you to this face to face.

5. Be Remorseful: You should be sincere in your apologies and follow it up with action that shows genuine remorse. For example, if the argument was ignited by neglecting a chore? It would be appropriate for you to try doing the chore after apologizing. Even if it’s a chore you do not particularly like, your parents will be touched that you at least made an effort.

If you practice and follow these steps the next time you feel the urge to angrily retort at your parent, you may find conflicts reducing greatly and realize you can discuss even topics that are sensitive with your parents, Without Arguing.

kembet

‘’The day dad married Eileen was the worst day of my life’’ recalls Anne.  I was mad! Mad at dad for being a traitor to my mum, mad at mum for leaving without a fight, mad at the 2 brats(Eileen’s Kids) who were to come live in our house, but most of all, I was mad at Eileen, I hated her, and because I knew it wasn’t right to hate, I was mad at myself too.  (Names have been changed).

Feelings, such as described by Anne above is what most teenagers and young adults experience at the remarriage of a parent.

According to a report on YourDivorceQuestions.org, a blog developed by Professor Alan Hawkins, Ph.D, a Director of the Marriage Education and Research Initiative at Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah, divorce tends to affect boys and girls in different ways, with girls having a tendency to harbor negative feelings such as depression, anger, and psychological issues for a much longer time than boys. This article will focus more on the effect of divorce and remarrying on teenage girls.

Divorce has a negative impact on the academics and occupational pursuits of teenage girls, with about 10 percent of girls with divorced parents losing interest in school work.

Because many parents of divorce struggle themselves with the effects and need someone to turn to for support and understanding,  they (especially mothers) turn to their children, particularly to their young daughters for this support, which in turn make the young girls feel like they have to mature faster. This stresses the young girls as they tend to struggle when a parent discloses personal problems to them, like they would to an adult friend.

The remarriage of a parent destroys all hopes of reconciliation between your parents and can be even more frustrating if it comes on the heels of the death of one parent.  

Most of the challenges young girls face include, coping with the authority of a step parent, learning to share and to compromise, and coping with unequal treatment where step siblings are involved. With all the challenges a parents remarrying can bring on teenage girls, death of a parent or serious marital incompatibility has made it something most young girls will have to deal with in their life time.

How then, can young girls deal with their parent’s remarriage and have a successful step parent relationship?  Find some steps to help with the adjustment below.

  1. Minimize negativity and challenge your misconceptions about your new step-parent: Critically ask yourself why you do not want your parent to remarry. This will give you a clear head and help you prevent a potential rift. You may be worried about the motive of a step parent marrying your own parent, especially when there is a significant age difference between them. You may be worried that he or she is marrying your parent because of their money or social position. If this is the case, it will help to have a frank discussion with your parent. Getting such worries off your chest can help you cope with your parent’s remarriage. You can also try to spend more time with the new couple as seeing how happy this person make your parent can help you abate any negative feelings.
  2. Respect their relationship; even if you do not agree with it-Sometimes, spending time with the couple as recommended in the first step might expose you to habits or mannerism you do not like about your step parent. At times like this, it will help to recognize that your parent does not necessarily need your permission to remarry and that even blood relations might have different taste in what they look out for in a partner. Show respect at all times. Address the new spouse by their preferred name or title and be cordial as you normally would to someone of their age group. Your parent and step parent will be pleased at your effort in trying to be welcoming to their new spouse.
  3. Do not compare your step-parent with your biological parent; It is easy to think of how different your step parent is to your biological parent. Whether the comparison places your step –parent in a higher light than your biological one, psychologist have said all such comparisons have a negative impact on the emotional health of the teenage girl. As hard as this may seem, shun all comparisons as you will be opening up yourself for disappointment if you do so. No two individuals are exactly the same. Always remind yourself that this person is providing needed companionship for your parent, if that is any consolation. You can look out for the good side of your step parent and focus more on that.
  4. Give attention to yourself: You may have been a companion for your parent for a while. Now that they have found love again, you will have more time to focus more on your own life. Create new goals and try to reach them. Try getting out more often and generally revive your social calendar. Take a new class; try a new skill, etc.
  5. Get closure; Most teenage girls resent their parents new mate because they feel accepting them will be disloyal to the deceased or divorced parent. While these feelings are normal, they are not correct. Be kind to yourself and allow your emotions to gradually adjust to the new situation.  Reaching out to your other parent if divorced can help you deal with feelings of guilt. As much as possible, try to avoid carrying tales about your step parent to your other parent. Seeing a professional therapist might also help if feelings are too hard to deal with.

It might take several years before you develop trust and become very comfortable with members of a step family. Do not despair, if you have tried these tips and are still having an awkward relationship with your step parent or siblings. You need a lot of patience.

Be hopeful, you can have a successful step parent relationship.

 

Kembet Bolton

As parents, we find often find ourselves in a situation where we have to put our feet down and completely disagree with our teenage wards. It could be due to their late-night habits, rude retorts or simply avoiding daily chores. Have you ever wondered what your teenage daughter would choose if she was presented with the options to stay with you, or be emancipated?

Ariel Winter, an American actress and voice actress, popularly known for her role as Alex Dunphy in the comedy series Modern Family, earned her legal right to emancipation at 17, in 2015. As stories of her emancipation due to a complicated and somewhat strained relationship with her mother swarmed the media, it was sure to give mothers a great cause for concern.

Teenagers had a new weapon, they could threaten to file for emancipation and get away with mischief; Many parents wondered if they were getting it right with their teens; What I’m I doing wrong? I wish she would talk to me and not a stranger; some thought their daughter would choose to be emancipated if presented with that option.

In this article, Lauren Paige Kennedy Journalist and author of Keeping Mum: On Mothers & Mortality, tries to allay the fears of these mums with tips on 10 Things to Say to Your Teenage Daughter Who Wants to Be Emancipated. She writes:

We moms can’t help but recognize the all-but-universal dynamic between freedom-chasing teenagers and harried parents. Generations consistently clash over the obvious and mostly mundane: broken curfews, obnoxious boyfriends, snarky attitudes and that hidden stash of weed beneath the bed.

Still, you know what they say: God made teenagers so mothers would want to cut the apron strings – joke. Here’s how to answer your darling high school senior when she threatens to walk. (Try to restrain yourself from telling her to run.)

  1. You realize you’ll be doing your own laundry now, right? No more Mom to help sort, wash, dry and fold. So there, welcome to running out of clean underwear. Get used to it.

– Make her understand walking away means taking absolute responsibility for her wellbeing and giving up all that she is dependent on you for. Mummy cannot be all that bad, and chances are, she doesn’t have Ariel’s unlimited resources.

  1. Bills are not boys with the full name ‘William’. Guess what sweetie; those totally chic open-toed boots you love? The ones we remortgaged the house for? How ’bout those oversized nerd glasses that come in cherry red? Yeah. Guess what; they cost money. A credit card statement arrives each month. And someone’s got to pay it. That someone is now you.

– Now this may sound a bit exaggerated, Lauren is simply saying, refer her to the bills. Money does not fall from trees, it is earned.

  1. Just because you can write a check does not mean you can write a check. Yes, you do have hundreds of blank checks! No, this is not the same thing as having money in the bank!

– So, she thinks she has an unlimited supply of blank checks, she needs to know the money is drawn from someone income, and those blank checks ae sure cease when she becomes emancipated.

  1. Who will you scream at when I’m not around? Do I really need to elaborate on this one?

– Mum’s may sometimes seem like a neurotic bunch who just love to get on their nerves, but truth be told? They will miss you if they left.

  1. No, you can’t take the car. See No. 4. Ditto.

– They do borrow your car, jewelry and Gucci purse, let them know they can’t do that when they are gone. You are an adult, get yours.

  1. Sorry, I’ve got nothing in my wallet. Your allowance days are over, kid. You’re an emancipated adult now, remember? This means you must do every necessary task for yourself—for free.

– Again, let her know they days of extras from mum’s pocket are over.

  1. Does this mean I can finally turn your room into an office? I hate to say it, but I’ve been eyeing your corner bedroom for years now. The western exposure in the afternoons is to die for!

– Throw that in her face, you have other use for that corner room.

  1. The contents of the refrigerator cannot go with you. Oh! Wait. I take that back. You can have the Frescas.
  2. If you honestly believe managing Forever 21 at the mall is a better career move than going to college, by all means, suit yourself. I know. You’re almost 18. Almost old enough to vote, and certainly old enough to have a say in your own future. Yes, those amazing discounts you’ll soon get on lacy cami rompers and southwestern-style jumpsuits will help your bottom line, for sure. And it’s true, parking is free at the Galleria. I think you might soon grow bored earning minimum wage and eating Cinnabon every day for lunch, but what do I know? I’m only 30 years older than you, and your mother.

– This is very important, direction is the word; remind her who she wants to be, right now, she probably thinks being free of you would make her happy, paint a mental picture and ensure she understands it.

  1. Oh! Wait! You weren’t serious, were you? Sweetheart, don’t go. I only have a year or so of you before you really walk away and toward adulthood. And even when you roll your eyes at me and sigh heavily in my direction, please know this: You’re my favorite teenager in the world. And that’s really saying something because you’re 17 right now.

– Finally, do not forget to remind her, that you love her, and even when you do not agree, she is special and will always be. Let her understand that discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.

Lauren passes the message in a rather snacky way, but I bet the message is clear. “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going” – Helen Keller

Trust is an important part of any relationship. It represents your belief in someone’s good sense, ability or honesty. As your daughter gets older and starts becoming more independent, it can be difficult to find the balance between a teenager’s need for independence and privacy, and your need to know what’s happening to keep them safe. Find out how you can stay involved in your child’s life through building a trusting relationship.

Here are some tips from parents reach.com, that could help parents understand why building trust is so important; work on how to avoid your child breaking your trust; and learn how to develop mutual trust with her.

Why is building trust with your teenager important?

Your child needs your trust to help them in their transition through to adulthood. However, this trust needs to be mutual. You and your child need to meet in the middle and develop a healthy way to trust in each other and each of your decisions. Remember that the more this mutual trust is tested, the longer it will take to get to a place where you are both confident you can trust each other. A relationship without trust leads to second-guessing and questioning each other’s honesty. When your child was young they probably trusted you unequivocally, as the person that kept them safe.

However, as children grow up and become more independent, they start to notice and question more. It’s around this time that your child may notice whether you do what you say you will do, which is a key factor in building trust. As a parent, you can’t demand trust. It’s a gradual process that requires mutual commitment and it will inevitably strengthen your relationship. It will also set your child up to develop healthy relationships in the future. It’s worth noting that teenagers are going through an intensely private time in their lives. Personal space becomes very important to them, so the desire for privacy doesn’t always mean untrustworthy activity is taking place. It’s important to keep that in mind.

Benefits of building trust with your teenager. By building a trusting relationship with your teenager, you’re likely see many benefits, including:

Your teenager feeling open and comfortable to talk to you about difficult things – Parents always dream of having a close relationship with their daughter, where she feels free and comfortable enough to share important aspects of her life with them.

Your teenager demonstrating positive, trustworthy behaviours in other aspects of their life, setting them up for positive relationships into adulthood. – Every parent looks forward to their daughter evolving into a responsible and balanced adult.

Building a relationship with your teenager that goes beyond a parent-child disciplinary relationship, and strengthening your bond for years to come. – You want to be her confidant, the first person she thinks about when she needs to share an important aspect of her life with someone.

What if my child breaches my trust?

Breaches of trust are to be expected, especially as your child starts to push boundaries to test their independence. Depending on the impact of their actions you should work with them to decide on appropriate consequences, which could range from a simple chat about your expectations, through to removal of privileges while they show that they can rebuild trust.  Remember that as a parent, you’re the most important role model in your child’s life, and it’s vital that you demonstrate honesty and trustworthiness, in order to teach your child how you expect them to behave.

Talk to them about the importance of honesty and trust, but also make sure it’s reflected in your actions. If your child repeatedly breaks your trust without showing any signs of remorse, or if they show self-destructive behaviours, it might be time to seek help from a professional, such as a counsellor or psychologist, as this could indicate other underlying issues. Consider connecting with other parents in your community to reliably stay informed about your child’s activities and friends.