Dealing with Parent-Child Trust and Control Issues
By Ahmad Amirali
These days I am attending a residential ten-day adolescent and youth training program where selected educators around the country meet and gathered in one platform. Yesterday, while discussing youth-related issues with one of the educators over dinner, a topic arose that why youth no longer trust their parents nowadays? After a while, we went for dinner but this brought a series of questions in my mind. Being a secondary educator, parents usually come and share their concerns about their child’s behaviour and ask for suggestions. And I remember that sometimes, parents simply said ‘My child doesn’t trust me’ or ‘I think my boy is having trust issues with me’. Although I discuss in my previous article Why Do Teens Shut Themselves Away from Their Family and Friends? that such short-term behaviour in adolescents is common, and it usually happened when adults unable to keep their promises with their child. However, what if their short-term behaviour would become their life-long habit? What if the reason behind this untrusted behaviour is far more different than simply broken promises?
Adolescence is a turning point in the relationship between parents and children. At this stage, teens and tweens are usually less willing to share things with their parents and to reveal information about their personal life. Consequently, parents forcefully try to extract information to have an idea about their child’s social and personal growth and to maintain some control over their life. Sometimes parents even try to impose rules and limits on the freedom of their children who, on their part, have a vital need to seek self-sufficiency and independence. This leads children to distance themselves from their parents and refrain them from sharing their personal life.
The most common problem that triggered distrust among adolescents is of making a promise that can’t be kept by the adults. The bond between parent and child further disrupted when this ‘broken promise’ trend continues till their teen and youth age. This drives them away because children feel they can no longer believe that their parents will do what they say. As a result of which adolescents begin to feel more independent and responsible for themselves, and no longer feeling the need to share information with their parents or ask for certain permissions and approval. Most likely, this behaviour of self-sufficiency also triggers bad temper and aggressive behaviour in teens that continue even in their youth.
In this case, the only thing that makes some difference is communication and dialogue between parents and children. Talk with your children in a way that they do not feel attacked. To do this, use phrases that begin in an affirming and supportive manner, encouraging sharing, and stimulating conversation by asking questions, and not merely setting rules and issuing orders. As parents, it is necessary to listen with openness, also leaving room for children to live their own experiences, and even to make mistakes so that they learn for themselves, as long as the consequences of a mistake are not dangerous. Moreover, enhancing children’s self-confidence always play a significant role in building their personality traits. It is associated with some aspects of life that are especially relevant in adolescence when people begin to rediscover the world, to explore the limits of their freedom, to take action, and solve problems never faced before with such a degree of independence.
It is essential to know that adolescence is a period where children start generating insecurity due to the need to confront many changes in life. Therefore, they rely more on adults than anyone in their life, which means that their level of trust becomes too high with their parents. At this stage, parents should avoid any instances that result in breaking their trust and confidence.
Good Luck 😊
One thought on “Dealing with Parent-Child Trust and Control Issues”
Good article. I wonder if exploring how to bridge the gap between teens and parents early with relevant information to help strengthen the relationship between the two parties so as to improve the experience of the next lag of their journey.
This is something teachers who also act as councillors can be instrumental in decreasing; the developing rift between teens and their parents or guardians.
Good luck! A good read. Thanks:)!!