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Family Accountability

Does Accountability Mean My Parents Don’t Trust Me?

by Ali Royann

Dear Ali,
My parents put an accountability app on my phone. Why don’t they trust me?

Responsible Teen

Dear Responsible Teen,

The teen years are a period of intense growth—physically, emotionally, and intellectually! A lot is going on inside the mind and body of an adolescent. The desire for independence and the process of separating from your parents are normal and healthy.

The more trust you build through making wise decisions, the more freedom you will likely experience.

But the growing need for independence does not mean you are responsibly independent yet. You probably still rely on your parents for many things like laundry, meals, a home, and financial aid. Your parents seem ready to give you more freedom by trusting you with a phone.

Accountability is a gift you can really benefit from—if you are willing! It’s a way to allow independence while providing your parents with some hands-on guidance as your reasoning skills are developing.

The truth is that you’re at an impressionable stage in life. Decision-making can be tricky when peer pressure weighs heavily on your thought process. Accountability gives your parents a window into how you control your impulses and anticipate the consequences of your choices and actions as you mature.

Have a conversation with your parents about their expectations. The more trust you build through making wise decisions, the more freedom you will likely experience. Your parents want to equip and train you to be a leader with great character and integrity. Use these years to gain from their wisdom and experience! You will appreciate their efforts as you enter into adulthood.

Yours in accountability,

“Ask Ali” is an op-ed column answering common questions about accountability and related topics.

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