MOORE — Q: Our teenage son always says we don’t trust him. He usually says this when we have objected to something he wants to do. We stick to our guns but are tired of the “you don’t trust me” line. What should our response be?
Cybil and Steve, OKC
Dear Cybil and Steve,
We loved your “stick to our guns” comment. Kids often have comebacks when they are trying to throw their parents off balance to get their way. Parents usually feel the need to explain which puts the parents on the defensive. Don’t fall into this trap. Children need to learn that as they handle privileges in a trustworthy manner, they will be given more opportunities. It is this way in the real world — bosses give more freedom to employees who have proven themselves by allowing them to make decisions, act in supervisory roles, etc. You do not have to explain yourselves every time your son claims mistreatment or is unhappy with your decision. As parents we often find the path of least resistance is not the best for ourselves or our children. Keep up the good work.
Q: Our youngest daughter will graduate in May and turning 18 the day after graduation. She recently told her dad and I that she and some friends were going to move out together to “have some fun” this summer before starting college in the fall. We do not feel she is ready for this. Can you give us any advice on how to keep her here for just a few more months?
Carey and Kerry, Moore
Dear Carey and Kerry,
No. We can’t give you any advice on how to keep her there. Are you sure it is she that isn’t ready, or is it you that isn’t ready? At some point you have to let her go. It sounds as though you have been guiding her for this moment for the past 18 years. If she has the money to support herself or will be working to do so and doesn’t really need to save for college expenses, then this could be a great opportunity for her to “spread her wings” before starting college.