I think my son feels comfortable talking through sensitive topics with me. I think this because we've had plenty of conversations about bullying, and first crushes, and the downside to being smart, and swear words and how various parts of the body work. I am always open and honest with my son. I suppress any potential giggles. I want him to know that he can always trust me.
Of course he trusts me now. He's eight. But trust is an easy thing to lose as our children get older. By the time that children reach the teen years, many report that they do not trust their parents anymore.
I've filed that knowledge in the "painful to know, but important to remember" area of my brain. Hopefully, when my son is navigating much tougher school and social pressures than I've ever had to deal with, I'll be able to look past his moody behavior and find a way to let him know that he can still trust me.
For now, I will continue to tuck my son in at night and answer all of his questions and help him think through some things on his own and remind him that he can always come to me to talk.
How do you ensure that you keep the lines of communication open with your teen? Tell me in the comments.