Teens are notorious for clamming up and only sharing vital information when prodded. For the over 12's, it is typical to get a grunt, yes, no, or maybe muttered in acknowledgement to a question. Trying to have an authentic conversation between parent and child can be difficult and daunting.
This lack of open communication, combined with a teen’s desire to be more independent, can lead to distrust in some parents. Teens often prefer to turn to their peers for support, even though parents desire to be involved in their child’s decisions and problems. Teens’ privacy can suddenly become a heated issue for many families to deal with.
Why Teen Privacy?
Tales of teens oversharing personal information online, cyberbullying, sexting, and an underdeveloped ability to assess risks are all causes for concern. These topics can lead many parents to cross the line when it comes to a teen’s privacy and the pursuit for information.
Here are three suggestions for parents to promote trust and privacy:
Make family a priority. Schedule family dinners and fun activities to provide plenty of interactions with your children. Hopefully, this will encourage communication and bonding.
Have conversations. Take advantage of carpools or the precious few minutes during meals. Encourage them to share about their day by asking unique questions. Here are a few suggestions to get a teen to open up:
Did something happen today that made you laugh?
If you could be the teacher, what would you change?
Tell me about three times you used a pencil today.
Keep tabs on their Social Media and devices. Ask for account names, passwords, and sites used. Be honest and let them know you will check in on them from time to time.
Understanding The Importance Of Privacy
Parenting isn’t easy, especially when you only get selective tidbits of information from your teen. It is important for parents to be aware of issues that your teen might be facing in the real world and online.