If your teen has broken your trust or you have broken hers, rebuilding a trusting relationship is difficult. The key is to learn how to build trust, which can only be done if you and your teen are willing to openly discuss your issues and create a plan that will help you deal with your teen’s trust issues.
Let go of your fear, advises the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. You might fear that your teen will not make sound decisions and end up hurt or in trouble. Your teen might fear that you will try to control his life and leave him without any freedom. By allowing your fears to control you, you both lose trust in one another. Let go of your fears by discussing what you expect out of one another. For example, if your teen feels you won't let him have the freedom to make his own decisions, chances are he won’t trust you enough to help when he needs it. You need to make your expectations and the consequences for his bad choices clear and stick to them to help build trust.
Create an action plan, advises the Aspen Education Group. If you tell your teen that you will trust her when she starts behaving like someone her age should, you aren’t telling her anything. Instead, you should be specific about what will cause you to trust her again, such as meeting curfew, earning good grades, eschewing drugs and alcohol, and not breaking any rules.
Ignore pressure to trust your teen when you know you cannot, advises the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. For example, if your teen asks whether she can go to an unsupervised party at her college friend’s apartment, do not let her play the trust card and pressure you into letting her go. Be frank about not trusting her to be in a circumstance where no adults are watching out for her safety, where drugs and alcohol might be present and where several opportunities exist for her to be taken advantage of. Explain to her that this is an example of the kind of trust issue that you are not willing to test.
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