Dating Pains: When our teens accuse us of not trusting them

Dating Pains: When our teens accuse us of not trusting them
by Laura Gallier

Ever had your teenager do a sweeping eye roll, followed by a gasp, because you refuse to back down from a boundary such as no unsupervised alone time with a member of the opposite sex?

"Don't you trust me?!" they cry with all the indignation they can muster.

As parents, this kind of guilt trip can lead to confusion and second-guessing on our part. We wonder if we're being too strict, unfair—or worse, driving them to rebel. Allow me to offer some assurance: we have a responsibility to protect our kids, even when they think we're overreacting. It's why we lock the door at night, pay their health insurance premiums, and warn them to never text and drive. And it's why we stick to our boundaries regarding interactions with the opposite sex.

That said, how about responding this way to a teen's demand for trust within a dating context: I'll trust you, honey, when you don't trust yourself.

While our kids may have the best of intentions—a point we should fully acknowledge—the highly-tempting nature of physical attraction can cause the most noble of people to compromise. To doubt that is to be naive; to understand it is to embrace boundaries.

Furthermore, this issue of boundaries is not for teens only. Two mutually attracted adults would do well to avoid isolating themselves while dating just as much as two teens. (Sound unrealistic? Let's not confuse unpopular with unrealistic.)

So parents, don't be timid about the boundaries you've set to safeguard your child. At the same time, rather than merely imposing standards on our kids, our goal should be to inspire standards in our kids. As they understand the pitfalls of today's dating trends and the many benefits of guarding premarital relationships from premature intimacy—emotional and physical—they are more inclined to do less eye rolling and more nodding.

Hey, we may even get a hug. If not now, later.

Laura Gallier

Laura Gallier is an author and speaker on parenting issues related to inspiring sexual purity in our children. She has written both fiction and non-fiction books to both teens and parents. Her most popular speaking topics are: Free to be Me - Overcoming Unwanted Thoughts, Emotions & Habits, Purity Workshops for Parents, Purity Presentations for Teens or Singles.

Beginning the Path to Purity Beginning the Path to Purity: Teaching parents how to lay a solid foundation of purity to help your older elementary child overcome today's sex-related pressures.
Posted: Sep 4, 2015,
Categories: Parents,
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