This is a tricky word, trust. Don’t you think?
Trust is defined as a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. (Wiki)
Trust is something you earn, I think. Not something you give away freely, although that does happen, often. People will trust, sometimes blindly, until that trust is broken.
Trust takes on many variations. In my case, perhaps I’m just a little bit too sensitive by taking this trust issue at face value. Some people think I’m too focused on the small details.
Well you know what I’ve found? The small details accumulate and turn into bigger, sometimes insurmountable issues.
I have trust issues. Many, many trust issues…
For the sake of this post however, I’m going to address just one part of it: parenting teens. 😉 (You saw that coming, right?)
On the one hand, I expected this to happen with the teenage years. It’s completely normal for the kids to push their boundaries now.
On the other hand, I did not expect the parenting to be such a struggle to the degree that it has evolved into. To back each other up, to show a united front, to actually stick to the decisions we made together in spite of one or the other kid trying to manipulate the situation, that’s the trust part I struggle with.
Keep the dialogue open, the *experts* say.
Communicate, they say.
Well, it’s not working optimally. I get that everyone is busy and preoccupied but to me, that’s just not an excuse to let it be.
The easy way is to let the kids do whatever because that lets us do what we need or want to do. It frees up precious time for us when we’re not arguing over some stupidity just to achieve some desired result.
It’s easier to load the dishwasher yourself than to argue whose turn it is.
It’s easier to let them ignore the wifi limits.
It’s easier to overlook things in the name of peace and quiet.
“I have a lot of work to catch up on, I don’t need to hear all this whining”, is one thing I hear all the time. Because my partner expects whining when we enforce rules.
He is not wrong.
Of course they’re going to whine, especially if it gets them out of the expectation. 🙄
But it’s not doing anyone any favours to allow them to get away with ignoring rules or whatever.
Ultimately it’s me who ends up with the short end of the stick.
I monitor social media in this house. The rules are simple: you want to download a new app, you tell me first, I will approve or deny, and if it’s a go, you provide me with your password.
They’re minors. It’s about safety and guidance.
We talked about it together, as a family, numerous times. Everyone agreed. Said they understood.
But teens are sneaky. And dismissive about certain things parents insist on. And friends’ opinions become more important than ever.
It’s normal and expected.
I get that.
It’s still a major pain in the ass.
It’s fine, the teens say.
Everyone is doing it, they say.
Nothing will happen, they say.
He went to his dad about a new app. His dad not only refuses to participate in any social media, but outright rejects all of it. Especially the facebook family apps.
I have no problem with him not wanting to play the social media game.
But I’m in it, and have been for more than 10 years. Which is why we all agreed it will be me who monitors social media.
I discovered, quite by accident, an app on my kid’s phone that I disapprove of and would never have allowed.
My partner was shocked when I suggested his prodigy manipulated him.
“He went to you and cited some bullshit about privacy because he saw how busy you were and you would be more likely to say yes”, I said. “He manipulated you because he knew I would ask questions and potentially say no.”
I saw how defensive that made him. That wasn’t my intention but there you have it.
“Why didn’t you direct him to me” I wanted to know.
I trusted our family commitment that this would be upheld by all.
“Did you at least google the app?”
He didn’t have time. Which is fine, I don’t expect him to do this. Besides, I was already familiar with the app in question.
It’s a constant uphill battle and does nothing at all to maintain what tiny bit of trust I have left.
So, we now have to start over again from scratch. Rebuild trust.
I don’t know how much I have left to give here, but since this is just the beginning of the teen years, I’m going to have to find a way.
Count your lucky stars if you no longer have to parent teens in this very tricky age. Sit back and send those of us in the trenches some support, good vibes, and maybe a bottle (or case) of wine. 😜