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How do I learn to trust my Teen again?

My son just turned 18 and of course he wants to do "whatever" he wants. The problem is he has spent his teens lying to me and his Father about the stupidest things. Started at 14 becoming more and more. When he turned 17 something changed and he started to mature and we let him take our car, and do things with his friends. BUT we caught him in a few major lies and now I feel like Im back at square one! We have sat down and told him how we feel about not being able to trust him and he says things will be different. How do I trust him again?


Asked by Dalesjrsbabe at 11:05 AM on Jul. 21, 2010 in Teens (13-17)

Level 3 (15 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (8)
  • It's a process, just like it is with anyone else in your life. The biggest difficulty with teens is that their adult understanding and maturity level changes SO FAST that it's hard to keep up with them, sometimes. They can genuinely have a change of heart, but it's hard to forgive things they've done just a year or two ago.

    Take baby steps! Push yourself by letting him do things you feel a little uncomfortable with, but don't automatically give him complete control over anything. Even though he is an adult technically, he still is very young and I assume living off of you and your hubby's income. He needs to learn that his dependency on your requires his adhering to your wishes. YOU also have to be aware of the growing up process he is enduring!

    Answer by mickstinator at 11:10 AM on Jul. 21, 2010

  • Trust is earned ... and you're right, when you catch him lying, you're back to square one. He says things will be different? So? Money where your mouth is, young man ... believe it when you see it.

    Answer by justnancyb at 11:07 AM on Jul. 21, 2010

  • YOU don't learn it. He has to prove it.
    I'd love to chat about this sometime. My son is now 19. I went through a lot with him when younger. I'm just STARTING to trust him now. He bought his own car, not on my insurance anymore....I don't isn't easy.

    Answer by kjrn79 at 11:13 AM on Jul. 21, 2010

  • You don't learn..HE has to earn it back. Once trust is broken it is hard to ever trust at the same level again. My youngest lost our complete trust when he was 16. 6 months later he was like "c'mon, I've been doing what I'm supposed to" We made it clear that he still didn't get it. We took away all privileges. Even id I was running to the store for 5 minutes I made him come with instead of leaving him at home. It finally became clear to him just exactly what HIS ACTIONS had caused him to lose. It was a rough time, but we stuck to it..and he did learn from it. He is now almost 24 married and doing great. Good Luck.


    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 11:10 AM on Jul. 21, 2010

  • u keep an eye on him an tell him this is the last time an if it happens again hes out an on his own since he cant seem to follow your rules. see if he likes that. let hi get a job an save u an get his own car. he got skills.

    Answer by queeny2 at 11:10 AM on Jul. 21, 2010

  • once trust is broken it takes a very long time to rebuild it and its up to HIM to do that not YOU. until his words, actions etc reflect respecting being honest you cannot even begin to rebuild that trust. you might have a long heartbreak ahead of you waiting till he becomes more honest and real with you so sorry momma

    Answer by sati769leigh at 11:13 AM on Jul. 21, 2010

  • I would want an open communication with my kid if they were seventeen and driving. I've heard too many horror stories from texting and driving to drunk driving. The approach should be one of concern since he is still underage.You want him to confide in you when really important problems arise in his life. If he doesn't think he can confide in you he will go to his peers for advice and they may or may not give him the right answers if he gets into a bind of some sorts.

    Answer by CafeMochaMom1 at 11:15 AM on Jul. 21, 2010

  • You don't learn to trust him.. He has to earn you trust.Tuff love is what i would do he gets cut off do not give your full support and let him learn the hard way. He needs to see who is in his corner. All teens go thru this..

    Answer by MTM at 11:20 AM on Jul. 21, 2010