I am 14 years old. My mother allowed me to join Facebook, but once she opened my profile and saw that many of my friends were boys. She scolded me for making boys my friends but I know all of them. Now she doesn’t let me use the internet and Facebook. She thinks that I will grow up and have many boyfriends but seriously they’re just my friends. How can I get my mother to trust me?
Nandita / Delhi
You’re quite upset that your mother doesn’t approve of you being friends with boys on Facebook; nor does she trust how you will behave with them despite trying to reassure her that they are just friends.
It is good if all the people who are your ‘Friends’ on Facebook are people you personally know and you are following cyber safety rules. What could make your mother uncomfortable is that perhaps she doesn’t know all of them. She probably didn’t even realize that there may be girls on your friends list as well.
A great way to build trust with your parents is to first reassure them that you have friends of both genders. Then, talk to them about your friends — both girls and boys. Share some snippets of their personalities, your common interests, their family background, and so on. As a teenager, you may want to keep your conversations with your friends private, but that shouldn’t stop you from sharing information about your friends with your parents. When you are open and relaxed with your parents, trust grows between you.