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- Advice & Tips for Parents of Teens
How to Build Trust and Honesty with Your Teenage Daughter
- What Our Teenage Girls Deserve
This is the first in a series of suggestions for raising teenages girls. Included are all the things I wish my parents had read when I was growing up.
- Talking with your Teenage Girl without Arguing? Absolutely!
This is the second Hub in a series of suggestions when raising a teenage girl. It's a hard job but they are so worth it!
Building Trust and Honesty with your Teenager
There are many life skills that we need to teach our children before they become adults and venture out on their own. One of them is trust and honesty .
It seems as though this particular lesson needs to be revisited often and will be tested as your child enters each stage of development.
When kids are little and they try telling a lie it's usually obvious and can be confronted and corrected right on the spot. You would never want to admit it to them but a lot of times they are actually quite entertaining.
The desire to bend the truth and attempt to get away with something doesn't diminish with age. The difference between a small child lying and a teenager lying is the gravity of the potential danger.
It may be irritating and insulting when your child lies to you but when your teen lies to you, they could be putting themselves in harms way.
It is totally normal for all kids to push boundaries as they enter each stage of life for two reasons:
- As their brain develops they have to see if they are actually able to out smart you yet.
- Each stage is a little scary because it brings new challenges and uncertainty so kids will test you to make sure you're still paying attention.
As life changes for them they need to know that your level of commitment hasn't wavered and that you will still be there to protect them, even from themselves.
They will almost certainly fight you on this overtly but secretly, they love it and need it!
Protecting Teens From Themselves
When a teen isn't being honest it is much more serious and can potentially carry life altering consequences for them.
They don't have the life experience or maturity that is necessary to predict what will happen when they put themselves in certain situations. It is our job to protect them from those situations.
The only way to assure that your teen is trustworthy is to randomly check on them. I know many parents feel the opposite is true but that's usually because their teen has used that argument in order to guilt their parent into giving them total freedom.
Don't be manipulated into going against your instincts and don't underestimate your teen or their friends.
- Teenage Daughters and Their Friends
This is the third Hub in a series of suggestions for those who are raising teenage girls. Parenting can be the most rewarding job you've ever done!
- Teenagers: How much Freedom is too Much?
If teenagers were mature enough and responsible enough to make good choices on their own, they would be on their own. They are still considered children for a reason. There are many important lessons they still need to learn and they need your protec
- Is Your Teenager Paying Attention to You?
As our kids get older sometimes we get the feeling they aren't paying attention to us old people anymore but nothing could be farther from the truth. Our kids look to us for acceptance and affirmation just as much as they did when they were in the se
Get to know your daughter’s friends parents.
Talk to the parent or guardians that will be in charge while your teen is visiting. Make sure that they have similar boundaries and ideas as you do before you allow your daughter to go hang at their house.
This is a great idea for many reasons but the two most common are:
1. People have different priorities
People all have different ideas about raising kids and although your way seems logical to you, don’t assume others see things the same way. They don’t! Your daughter’s friend might have a really sweet, loving mom or grandma who doesn't see a problem with letting the girls drink wine coolers as long as they don’t leave the house. This is something your daughter isn't going tell you so you need to know before hand!
2. Make sure you know what's really going on
You should always verify the plans. When our kids are little we call the friends parents to make sure that it’s OK if they come and play because we know that little kids sometimes invite each other over without asking first. We always arranged the “play dates”. For some reason we stop doing that as they get older. I’m sure you know how smart your daughter is and that it doesn't take long for her to figure this out. It is pretty common for teenagers to say they are going to one persons house while actually going somewhere they aren't supposed to. It’s happened for generations.
One Quick Call Is All It Takes
Teens may occasionally forget to tell you that there won’t be an adult home when they ask to go to someone’s house to hang out.
It’s always a good idea to just make a quick call and make sure your daughter is actually going there and that an adult will be home.
Some parents don’t call the friends parents because they fear judgement from them. You don’t have to sound like an over protective freak, just an attentive parent.
Simply call and introduce yourself and say you want to make sure the girls will be supervised and ask what they have planned for the evening. Just say that you remember what it’s like to be a teenager and that you want to make sure that the girls aren’t going to have access to anything that would get them in trouble.
I’m positive it will be well received by the other parent! They will probably tell you how refreshing it is to have someone call because so few people do.
Don't Allow Yourself To Be Manipulated
If your daughter has a fit about you calling her friends parents, that’s a huge red flag!
She might tell you that your treating her like a baby or that you don’t trust her or that it’s embarrassing or whatever. Stop! Your being manipulated.
Her best interest and safety is more important than her good mood. Just let her know if it’s that important to her that you not call, she can stay home. Problem solved.
Let your daughter know how much you appreciate her and trust her when you learn that she is telling you the truth.
Age is just a number, responsible behavior breeds trust and freedom.