One of the hurdles of being a teenager is the constant need to break away from your parents’ watchful attention. The thing is, it’s almost impossible to do this without going to extremes like breaking your parents’ trust or exhibiting rebellious behavior. However, you don’t have to do this to gain some freedom to try out things on your own. Parents may seem like villainous characters who are almost always against “fun.” But with a little adjustment on your attitude and approach to certain things, you’ll be surprised to discover how concerned your parents are for your well-being, especially now that you’re a teenager. Here are some tips on how to gain your parents’ trust in a healthy and mature manner:
Your relationship to your parents
Before taking concrete measures to appear more trustworthy to your parents, first you need to assess your relationship to your parents. Have you always been close to them? Were you always affectionate towards each other? Or maybe your relationship to them is the opposite: distant and less affectionate. Either way, you have to determine how you stand in your parents’ eyes, because you will need to adjust your strategy based on this.
Are they naturally trustful or mistrustful of you? Your relationship dynamic with them will definitely change as you grow as a person. But when it comes to goal-setting, it’s important to establish a baseline (your current relationship dynamics). The goal, of course, is to become a trustworthy son or daughter both in practice and in the eyes of your parents.
Parents (and adults in general) expect their children to behave automatically in a certain way when they reach adolescence. At times, teens appear “immature” to them. Therefore, teens are considered as less trustworthy. How do you counter this?
Adults will need to see something concrete as proof of your reliability. Take initiative at times when they don’t expect you to. For example, before you eat dinner as a family, volunteer to clean up the table and wash the dishes. This will come as a surprise to some parents. From there, build yourself up to more serious tasks like volunteering to go grocery-shopping with your mom, or washing the car for your dad. In time, they will come to appreciate your efforts and will surely put you in a positive light in their eyes.
Be more honest
At your age, it might feel like it’s easier to tell small white lies to avoid getting reprimanded, or worse, grounded. However, lying will only be counterproductive to your goal of being more trustworthy as a son or daughter. Honesty is a good habit to develop as early as possible. Your parents would rather have your honesty than be fooled into believing that everything is fine with their children. Be upfront with what you want, even with things that you know they might be critical about. At first, they will definitely be disappointed or disapproving. But in the long run, they will appreciate it better. This will also help build rapport between you and your parents
Act maturely and accept “defeat” gracefully
Parents expect maturity from their teenage children, whether they say it outright or not. Sometimes as a teenager, this could be difficult to achieve especially when you feel like your parents are being unfair or unreasonable. To counter this, you have to accept that until a certain age, you are your parents’ responsibility. Therefore, they will always think about what’s best for you.
Do not hesitate to ask for permission. If they say yes, then lucky for you! But if they say no, be gracious about it instead of throwing a tantrum. Learn to negotiate with them in a rational manner. Lay out your reasoning as to why you want to try or do it. If they disagree, ask them to explain why. Learn to accept “no.” Back off on things that they are firm about. Eventually, your parents will recognize that you are already a budding rational adult, which is always a point to you.