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Teen Privacy

you are not out to punish your teen; you are out to help them understand the limits of your tolerance. have truly lost sight and touch with their life and activities. Another sign to look for is your teen’s avoidance, even if they are accessible. If your teen bypasses you on their evening return home, you may have to wonder what they may be hiding. To add, if you notice a change in their peer group, particularly from one that was more friendly, approachable and available to one more distant and difficult to define, then there is cause for concern. This cause for concern is also considering that your teen’s lack of availability isn’t due to hitting the books, attending an extra-curricular activity or earning some bucks at a part-time job. Lastly, if you find the telltale signs of drug or alcohol use, then you know your teen may be heading down a road that needs a detour. Those signs include finding drugs, drug paraphernalia or alcohol in your teen’s possession, smelling pot or alcohol on your teen, or believing your teen is intoxicated by observing behaviour.

20 inbetween

Time to snoop Before snooping, parents should first try to talk with their son or daughter about their observations and concerns. The tact is not to blame, but to explore and understand. Remember, only admonishing and consequencing at this point will likely drive your teen away and their behaviour further underground. Here, your relationship matters most, even if you are exasperated and upset. Simple strategies like talking, spending time with your teen doing that they are interested in and addressing any family issues that may be surrounding your teen, may be of service to addressing and changing matters of concern. If that doesn’t work and your concerns mount, and your suspicions have yet to be confirmed, looking into your teen’s online activity and even through their room is acceptable. The tact here is not to catch your teen doing something bad, but to determine if they are engaged in risky behaviour. Your attitude to their invasion of privacy matters —both to your

teen who will be upset if/when he or she finds out and also to your disposition when validating your concerns. Try and remember, despite any hurt feelings, to act from a place of love and concern, not anger and entrapment. Show and tell If you find evidence of concern, then it is appropriate to show the evidence and discuss the concern with your teen. Even at this stage, punishments and consequences typically won’t work in limiting your teen’s behaviour. Rather, expressing your concern and discussing expectations and your boundaries in terms of what is acceptable in your home will make more of an impression. You are not out to punish your teen; you are out to help them understand the limits of your tolerance and what is acceptable in your home. Invading your teen’s privacy isn’t based on your desire, it’s based on the necessity of ensuring your teen stays safe. Even when pulling out your hair, remember, you love them. ■

Profile for INBETWEEN Magazine

INBETWEEN Dec/Jan 2014-2015  

Our holiday issue is packed with fun stories crafted for every parent of a teen! Featuring stunning gift guides and getting glowing skin to...

INBETWEEN Dec/Jan 2014-2015  

Our holiday issue is packed with fun stories crafted for every parent of a teen! Featuring stunning gift guides and getting glowing skin to...