All teens go through ups and downs. It is a natural part of their development as they discover who they are and go through physical changes on the route to adulthood. During this time, it’s important for them to talk things through and share the emotions they are experiencing, but who do they turn to?
Is it you? Relatives? Friends? Teens will turn to the people they trust the most when they feel overwhelmed. If that person isn’t you, it probably should be.
If you are available for your teenager to talk to, you will be the first to know about anything significant going on in their lives. You’ll be in a position to give advice regarding issues like substance abuse, teenage sex, and their friend choices. When teens trust their parents, they will follow this advice.
A lot of teens don’t feel that their parents are to be trusted, particularly with sensitive or difficult subjects. These teens are usually afraid that their parents will not take them seriously or get unreasonable with anger or judgment. If parents are being honest with themselves, they will see that a lot of the time, this attitude is understandable. If you have ever dismissed your child’s issues before or overreacted to a trivial mistake, they are far less likely to trust you in the future with more serious things.
If your teens are not comfortable turning to you for help, it can be almost impossible to get them back on your side. How do you build back this trust and get them to turn to you when they need to talk?
Control Your Emotions
Getting angry at your teen over every mistake demonstrates to them that you aren’t to be trusted to deal with things they tell you in a calm fashion. They become afraid of you. Learn to manage your emotions and suppress anger, focusing instead on how you can provide advice and constructive criticism.
Earn the Trust
Trust must be earned. Set aside time with your teen where you can share interests and develop a real relationship, in a personal setting. Show them that you can be trusted with their confidential information and that you can handle things without casting judgment.
Get Professional Help When Necessary
Sometimes, more help is needed. If your teen is truly and deeply troubled, professional help like that provided at residential boarding schools can provide the sort of treatment they need to fix their damaged family life. You can work alongside your teen as they go through counseling, re-establishing those bonds of trust which may have seemed utterly irreparable.