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Annemarie Lange is a licensed professional counselor in the Philadelphia area that utilizes mindfulness and meditation to help her clients deal with a variety of challenges.
Aug 01, 2016
Adolescents, by nature, exist between two worlds. They’re not “kids” anymore but they’re also not adults yet. As parents, educators and authority figures we’re often in a unique position of striking the balance between trusting them with more freedoms and establishing rules and monitoring their behaviors.
In today’s technology driven world, teenagers are asserting their independence online as well as in the community. This leaves parents with a relatively new challenge - how to build trust with their budding adult but also keep them safe online. This is no easy task, a recent study revealed that 70% of teens hide their online behavior from their parents.
Adolescents I see in my counseling practice share with me that they feel misunderstood by their parents or that their parents don’t listen or respect what they have to say. It’s so powerful when a parent and child both feel safe to be open and honest with each other. The relief it offers to both of them is palpable and helps to create an environment that strengthens a trusting relationship.
Trust is fundamental to all healthy relationships. It is also important to remember that it’s a two way street. You want to be able to trust your teenager and he/she wants to trust you as well. The thing is those two trusts likely look a little different.
Be kind to yourself as you journey through building trust with your teen! You may find yourself in arguments with your teenager over boundaries. Remember, you set these because you love them and want them to remain safe while exploring new opportunities. Though these boundaries, clear expectations and open communication, you’re building a strong foundation for lifelong relationships.