My oldest will be 16 in July. He has average grades, plays football, and is, of course, glued to video games when not hanging out with his friends.
When he and I discussed the article I wrote, Why I Regularly Invade My Teenager’s Privacy, he made an excellent point (which I already knew but I kind of let him think that he brought me this revelation): You never really know what your teenager is up to; your only choice is to trust them. Oh my, this is a hard one for me. Let me tell you. I have a terrible short-term memory, but there is nothing wrong with my long-term. I completely remember being a teenager, and all the machinations I was involved in. Am I really expected to pretend that I don’t know exactly how much trouble could be waiting for him and just trust that I have raised him right, or at least good enough that he won’t go out here and get into something he can’t get out of? (That is a rhetorical question!)
I am not shy about admitting how completely conflicted I get on this issue. I do trust him (although there are some doubts as to whether his decision making process is up to par–will explore that topic in later post); however, I feel like it’s my job to be in the know as much as possible because he is not going to tell me everything. He is a teenager so to expect that he will practice full disclosure when he knows that he will be in trouble is absurd. Therefore, I search, I ask questions, I get involved, and I try to stay in the know. The jury is still out on whether I am going about this the right way.
I want to hear from you!
How do you balance trust with staying involved with what your teenager is up to? Please leave me a comment below and let’s have a discussion.