Teenagers have a reputation for making reckless and risky decisions. Assuming that you are going to be dealing with teenage rebellion, however, can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you are convinced that you are going to have to deal with a teenager who is drinking, doing drugs, having sex, sneaking out or otherwise being a stereotypical rebel, you are going to keep your teen on as tight a leash as possible. As teens grow and age, they will begin to chafe at the restrictions. In response, they will begin to push back. You will panic because they are not listening to you or following every rule which means they are rebelling. A little rebellion can lead to a big one. So, you tighten the leash. They get angry and push back harder. You tighten your grip even more in response. The cycle goes on until you have a full-fledged rebellion on your hands.
To keep rebellion at bay and help your teen transition from a child to an adult, you need to extend a little trust. Make sure your teen understands that if they break that trust, they will have a very hard time earning it back, but give your teen a chance to stretch their wings and try flying before they are booted out of the nest entirely. Going from parental control to complete independence overnight is why so many teens get into trouble in college. They never had a chance to learn how to be responsible.
It can be scary letting your teen spread their wings. After all, what if they fall? You do not have to drop the reins entirely to let your teen practice responsibility and to show them a little trust. Here are four ways to show a teenager you trust them without letting them go bananas.