My son sneaks to do ‘wrongs’

My teenage son seems unable to confidently ask permission to do anything. Almost all the time he prefers to just sneak away and do whatever he wants and if he messes up he apologises but without showing much remorse. What should I do so he can know it is good to ask? Solange, Bugesera .

My teenage son seems unable to confidently ask permission to do anything. Almost all the time he prefers to just sneak away and do whatever he wants and if he messes up he apologises but without showing much remorse. What should I do so he can know it is good to ask? Solange, Bugesera .

Dear Solange,

You have raised a pertinent concern that is not unique to you. As we all know, a huge part of growing up is being able to make one’s own decisions. As children grow, they will fascinated by the independence that awaits them and some will rather take it even before it is ok.

It is, however, also possible to create an understanding with your child so that they feel comfortable asking for permission or letting you know what it is they wish to do with their time sometimes.

You need to start by working on your relationship with your son. He should not feel like you are the person standing between his dreams and desires.

Take time to discover what your child enjoys doing with his time and occasionally take the initiative to propose that he should do just that without having to ask you.

It is also quite important to blur the line between permission and notification. Many times your child may want to do something but see no reason to notify you.

It is at this point that you must make it clear that you are only concerned about them and you think it is helpful to know what they are doing and where they are doing it from just in case something unexpected happens. He should have no reason to fear you.

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