I’m just friends with a guy; I talk to him on the phone and he is really nice. We have never ever thought of a relationship. My mom caught me talking to him a few times. Now my parents say that they have lost their trust in me. They won’t let me have a phone, and even if I tell the truth they say it’s a lie. Often they try to spy on me. If any guy looks at me they ask me who he is, etc. Please help me to regain my parents’ trust.

Dear , You’re feeling quite upset that your parents don’t trust you anymore after they ‘caught’ you talking to a guy. While your parents are naturally concerned about your safety, they seem to be suspicious of your every move.

Unfortunately, fear stops us from telling our parents about our friends, especially those of the opposite gender. Yet, it is important to discuss with them that you will meet people of both genders, especially when you go to college, and that friends of the opposite gender are not always romantic relationships.

If you want to build trust with your parents, first communicate openly and honestly with them. Tell them about your friends who they are, how close they are to you, how you met them, their backgrounds. Let your parents meet your friends. Perhaps your parents might also want to get to know their parents.

Discuss and agree upon limits and boundaries related to going out with friends; and then keep to the limits you have agreed to. Your parents need to see you as someone reliable – a person who will keep her word, and whose behaviour is consistent. Show them that you can balance your studies and friendships, and you can say ‘no’ to your friends when needed.

Rebuilding trust will take time, but the more open you are, the easier it will be for them to trust you again.

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