Be Consistent and Follow Through With Commitments Kids need consistency. They need to know what to expect from parents. Otherwise they are floundering and will often test boundaries to see what they can get away with. If part of the time it is one way and another time it is different, they don't know what to expect.
Part of consistency is following through with commitments. If you say you are going to do something, do your very best to keep that commitment. If you can't, talk to your teen about why you can't (if appropriate). Letting them know there is a reason will let them know it's not personal, that you forgot, and simply don't care.
As you are consistent and follow through on your commitments, you will build trust with your teen. Building trust in this way is a good way to help them feel comfortable coming to you with issues they are having. If they know what to expect (because of your consistency) and know you are trustworthy (you do what you say you will by following through with your commitments) they will be more likely to talk to you.
Bottom line- Learn to say what you mean and mean what you say! Be consistent and follow through! This will build trust and hopefully assist your teen to open up to you.
Tomorrow Joleen will give you one last tip. Good luck with parenting! It's the most challenging and rewarding job you will ever have! Thank you for reading.
Written by Natalie Chandler
Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC, LCAC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and relationship counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville