Carin Kilby Clark and her teenager son

How Do You Find Balance When Parenting a Teenager?

Carin Kilby Clark and her teenager son

I try my best to be an active part of my teenager’s daily life

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.

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