Sue Scheff: Parenting Teens – Is Honesty Always the Best Policy?

Honestly, is being honest always the best policy?  In most situations we all would agree honesty is admired and a sign of integrity.  However when it comes to parenting, how much do our children really need to know and when?

Parenting teens today is challenging and most teenagers today enjoy a good challenge.  How much of your teen years do you feel like you should share with your teenager?  Of course, it all depends on what happened in your adolescent years. 

  • If you have a teen that is dabbling in drug use, and you have repeatedly shared your experience with using drugs, will the teen see this has condoning the drug use?  Keep in mind, drug use today is more dangerous than it was years ago.
  • Did you have sex too early?  Is it appropriate to share your sexual experiences with your teenagers?  Will this give them permission to do the same, or would they learn from your mistakes?
  • Were you involved in juvenile issues when you were a teenager?  Do you think sharing these experiences would help your teen not to follow that path, or would they feel it would be o-kay since you did it?
  • How much should you tell your teens about your financial situation?  Should they know your salary?  Should they be aware of when you are behind on your payments?

These questions could go on and on.  Although lying is frowned upon, it may not be necessary to share everything with your teens.  As a matter of fact, that is why we are the parents and they are still minors.  Depending on your teenager will depend on how much you want to tell them and how much you won’t. 

Remember, our children are impressionable – they look up to parental influence, so before you decide to share your Woodstock days, you may want to consider your teen’s personality.

Be an educated parent, you will have safer and healthier teens!

Read more on this topic here.