Regaining Parent’s Trust

2011/07/26 in Relationships

If you’ve lost your parent’s trust, the situation at home could be pretty bad. You may have been grounded, or lost some privileges, but that’s not the worst of it.

 

Your parents are probably hassling you all the time, wanting to know where you’re going and who you’re on the phone with. If you complain, or talk back, you’re in for a lecture. They may be telling you that they can never trust you again.

This tape will give you a few suggestions for what you can do to get some peace back in the house, your parents calmed down, and maybe get back their trust.

You probably know what you did to lose your parents’ trust. It may have been anything from whispering on the phone, to getting busted by the cops. Whatever you did. It got you into trouble with your parents and now they no longer trust you.

You might think that the only thing they feel is anger because they’re punishing you. But they’re probably feeling much more. All parents want to believe that they brought their kids up right. They want to think that no matter what the situation, their kids will use good judgement.

They hope that the values and morals they taught you will always help you do the right thing. When you do something that they think is wrong, they’re disappointed in you. They’re probably also disappointed in themselves as parents when you behave in a way that doesn’t live up to their expectations. It’s hard for them to accept that even when you try to do your best with your kids, they can still make mistakes and get into trouble.

Your parents may also be worried about you because of what you did. If you’re running around with what they think are wild kids, for example, they’ll worry about all the ways you can get into trouble. It doesn’t do any good to tell them not to worry, that you’ll be O.K. Parents are born worriers.

If you want to live a normal life at home again, and get back your parents’ trust, there are a few things you do. Some of this may be pretty hard to take, especially if you think what you did was O.K. But the choice is yours. Whether you’ll try the suggestions or not will depend on how well you can take living with tension and distrust.

If you’re sorry that you lost their trust, tell you parents that. That’s not the same as saying the you’re sorry for what you did, which you may or may not be. But if you’re upset with the problems your behavior caused and wish it hadn’t happened, then tell them that.

If you promise not to do it again, make sure that you keep that promise and that you’re not just saying it to set them off your back. If you think the situation is bad now, it’ll be much worse when they catch you the second time. And then, another promise won’t work. You might also ask them what they would like to see you do to get their trust and some of your privileges back. Together, you could work out something you could ail live with. It might take the form of a contract system, where if you do A, B, and C, then they’ll do this, this, and that.

For example, you might suggest that you’ll come home an hour earlier on weekend nights for the next month, if they’ll then give you back your regular hours and drop the subject of not being able to trust you. If you think that working out a contract system like this might be the answer, think about two things before making any kind of bargain with your parents: 1) Don’t agree to things that will be too hard for you to do, and 2) Make sure that you all clearly understand the terms of the agreement. Put the terms of this agreement in writing and have all the involved persons sign it.

Once you’ve lost your parents’ trust, you’ll probably have to bend over backward for awhile to show them that you deserve to be trusted again. If you’ve ever had a friend who did something that made you lose faith in him, you know how hard it can be to forgive and forget.

Whatever you do, don’t complaint, argue or whine. This is one of those situations where you’re going to have to clean up your act instead of just talking about it. You’re going to have to show your parents that you deserve to be trusted again by the way you act, not by the way you talk.

Your parents may be acting the way they are because they’re probably disappointed in you as well as themselves, and worried about you. If having lost their trust really bothers you, you may want to try to work it out by doing some of the things we suggested. Good luck!

Thank you.

For additional support and resources please call our 24-hour Teen Hotline by dialing 2-1-1 or 954-567-8336 (TEEN.)

Teen Tapes is produced by the University of Wisconsin, Madison.