The Importance of Trust Between You and Your Teen

Trust between you and your child is important because it's the basis for a good relationship between you both. Learn more.
The Importance of Trust Between You and Your Teen
María Alejandra Castro Arbeláez

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist María Alejandra Castro Arbeláez.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

Trust between you and your teen is important because it’s the basis for a good relationship between you both. If there’s no trust, then there will hardly be other values such as respect and consideration either. Those who don’t trust know that they can’t rely on the other person for help or have them as a confidant in good times and bad.

If your child doesn’t trust you, they’ll lie to you and will look elsewhere for what they should have found in you.

What you need to know in order to build trust between you and your teen

Mom and dad, if you want to maintain or gain trust between you and your teenager, keep these considerations in mind:

Don’t lie to them so that they don’t pay you back in kind

Your lies are an example for your child. Whenever they see you lie to achieve a purpose or apologize for something, they learn from it.

The mistake is compounded when you lie specifically to them, and sooner or later, the truth gets into their hands. That way, they may learn to lie to you as well.

If they know that you lie to them, that will be the pretext that will help them to free themself from guilt when they lie to you.

In the beginning, they’ll tell you a simple lie, perhaps to avoid a scolding, but with time, and as they get what they want, their lies may be bigger.

That’s why our advice is this: Always earn their trust with the truth first.

Open up so they’ll open up to you

A mother having a heart to heart conversation with her daughter.

If you take the time to sit down with them and tell them your problems, ask them for advice, and wait for their comments, they’ll learn to do the same with you. But don’t confide in them just to establish a bond between the two of you; do it honestly, because you really feel you need to.

Above all, with your child, be honest about your feelings.

Ask them questions

Very often, the lack of communication between parents and children is due to a lack of questions between them.

Parents wait for their children to tell them things, and children wait for their parents to ask them questions.

As neither of them does their part, doubts accumulate and problems are solved elsewhere.

Apply consequences, but don’t overdo it

When your child makes a mistake and you must punish their behavior, don’t look for a punishment that hurts them and makes them pay for their mistake. Think of one that will make them reflect and realize the wrong they’ve done.

Choose punishments that will help them to become a better person tomorrow.

Do not overdo it with punishments because, in order to avoid being punished, they may start telling you lies.

Don’t distrust what they tell you

Distrust, always going after them to keep an eye on them, searching their belongings, and overwhelming them with questions will make them lose confidence and move away from you.

Adolescents, like all other human beings, need our space, our secrets, and to be alone sometimes.

A boy ignoring his mom while she talks.

When their privacy is invaded and they feel persecuted and exposed, they’re forced to slip away, to avoid your constant inquiring gaze any way they can.

There are mothers who, because of their fears and the excessive love they have for their children, become toxic mothers who, instead of bringing their children closer and gaining their trust, suffocate them and push them away with their way of behaving.

Before believing that your child’s lying to you, start by trusting their words. It¿s healthier for both you and them.

The importance of trust between you and your child

Because you’re their mother, you must be the person they trust the most.

That ally who gives them support and advice, who’s as happy as they are about their achievements, and is there to celebrate.

The partner who guides them well, educates them, teaches them, and in front of whom they don’ feel ashamed to express their doubts. The one who protects them more than herself and who spots danger a mile away.

Your teenager needs to know, but above all to feel, that you’re the one to whom they should confide their things and to whom they should turn to, no matter what the subject or the occasion.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.