What are your usual ways to win back your parents' trust? Yep, we’ve all been there. Being a teenager can be difficult, and it’s hard to go through that entire stretch of growing up without betraying your parents' trust. It’s just as hard to win back trust, though. It’s one of those weird things that is almost freely given, but it takes a huge, concentrated effort to win it back. Rebuilding trust once it’s been damaged or lost is no easy task – but if you need to do it, here are some ways to win back your parents' trust that have worked through the ages.
One of the most vital ways to win back your parents' trust is to talk to them about what happened. Whatever it was, you need to show that you accept that you shouldn’t have done it and that you’ve learnt from your mistake. This sounds easy, but this type of conversation can quickly spiral into an argument or a stream of excuses. Make an effort to avoid these, because they just make you look childish and reinforce your parents decision not to trust you. Instead, behave at your mature, sophisticated and knowledgeable best.
Don’t let the situation deteriorate into that awkward stoniness. If it already has, make a concerted effort to start conversations and be chatty. You might not feel like it, but again, being cold and silent is seen as childish and it won’t help convince your parents that you are old and wise enough to be trusted. You don’t need to talk about what happened once you’ve got that initial conversation out of the way, but do talk about something, even if it’s current affairs or news about school/work/your friends/celebrities.
If you don’t trust someone, you automatically question the things that they say to you. This means little white lies are much easier to uncover and they seem like a big deal. Make an effort to be completely truthful while you are regaining your parents' trust, so that if they check out anything that you say, they’ll find that you were honest. So, whether it’s what you had for lunch, where you are spending the weekend or who you are texting, be honest and open, and you’ll start to slowly rebuild that trust.
When the heat from whatever incident made your parents stop trusting you has died down, schedule a chat with them about moving forward. It’s best to do this in a relaxed environment, when everyone is feeling happy. Avoid times when people are in a rush, or might be stressed! If you order an evening takeaway, for example, you could sit and talk about it then. Create a roadmap for success, so that you know exactly what you need to do to build trust. Ask your parents to identify specific behaviors which will help them trust you more (calling when you say you will, being home on time, getting good grades, doing your chores…) and behaviors that diminish trust (slamming doors, cursing, talking back, ignoring homework, getting into trouble at school, being late home).
Once you’ve got your benchmarks, you can set yourself some targets to work towards meeting them. For example, if you tend to curse, think up some techniques that you could do instead. Some people find that pinging an elastic band around their wrist helps, or going for a run. Try different methods until you find one that works for you, and then move on to the next thing. If you come up with a method for each item, you are much more likely to succeed than if you just wing it.
Your parents might try to offer you advice as you regain their trust. This could be on anything, from the way you dress to your schooling or your job or your boyfriend or your friends. Don’t get angry. Instead, hear your parents out. Let them share their advice, and the reasoning behind it. Take in what they are saying and thank them for sharing. Tell them you will consider what they’ve said. Now you can think about it, and if it doesn’t fit, you don’t have to act upon it. You’ll have shown maturity and forward-thinking, though, and that you are listening.
It sucks, but another of the most essential ways to win back your parents' trust is to remember that it takes time. Trust is fragile. It’s one of the only things that people tend to give to complete strangers, rather than making them earn it. It is difficult to gain back, and it’s also difficult to know what will make you trust someone again. It’s all emotional. Remember that you are on the right track and try not to get frustrated if things aren’t moving as fast as you would like.
All of these ways to win back your parents' trust will help your parents to see you as being mature and honest, and to allow you some leeway. Remember how difficult it is to rebuild trust, though, and try to keep some of these concepts alive even when the trust is back. That will ensure that you keep building trust, and reduce the chances of you ending up having to win trust back again. What are your favorite ways to win back your parents' trust? I’d love to hear what has worked for you.
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