With teenagers on their road to expanding independence, a parental grip must somewhat loosen. The balance between being present and involved, and allowing our kids space and freedom, can tip easily to one direction or the other. We wonder about asking too many questions or not enough. Maybe we need to push them harder or back off. Too many rules or not strict enough? We encourage them to share and then hear things that freak us out.
Parent Up continually encourages parents to be present and available, interested and deliberate, caring and considerate, invested and open with their kids. To understand the difference between secrets and privacy can help us navigate through this balancing act.
Let’s encourage kids to share their secrets, but promise to protect them with privacy.
Secrets often signal a problem, some harm, or an issue that needs to be aired out. Holding onto secrets is rarely healthy. Privacy is a privilege everyone deserves.
Encourage your kids to have few secrets, to not bury or hide things from you or anyone else. With the same hope for their health, promise them privacy. Privacy means their vulnerability will be protected. When they take a risk to share something, they can be certain their truth is safe with you.
No secrets, protected privacy.
Try one of these simple mantras to guide your relationship with your child:
- We admit our mistakes, make it right, and move on.
- Our family is a safe place.
- Talking about it is always okay.
- Truth, honesty, forgiveness, and love live here.
For more resources to start conversations with your children, build trust, and help them make smarter, safer decisions, visit our collection of online tools and resources.