Trust is an important issue with preteens and teenagers. Parents often wonder how they can question their children without being accused of doubting their judgment.
Checking up on your children’s outside activities may not be met with enthusiasm, but it is important.
Many parents have heard the refrain: “I can’t believe you don’t trust me.” This can be a young person’s way of keeping parents at a distance and feeling more independent.
It is not uncommon for young people to feel invincible and to resent interference with their social life.
One author recommends that parents respond to this resistance by saying, “We trust you, but we are concerned about the situation you’re going to be in.”
This response shows you’re concerned not with the child but with the circumstances that could occur.
Point out to your children that they won’t always have control over what can happen when they’re at a friend’s house without adult supervision.
Ask questions in a calm, non-confrontational way.
Safety issues top the priority list for parents. Young people are more likely to accept questions and supervision when it is framed in this context.