I did some very bad things on Facebook that I am sorry for. I lost the trust of my parents as well as some other people. Now I want to regain their trust. I already closed my Facebook account, but my parents still don’t trust me. I am a fifteen-year-old girl, and now is when I want to have good healthy fun, but those problems affected many aspects of my life, so much so that I can’t go out with my girlfriends. I don’t have much freedom…. How can I earn my parents’ trust again?

Dear Friend,

What a great question! Many people who have lost the trust of others will want to know the answer.

Earning someone’s confidence can be very difficult after you have betrayed their trust, but there are at least five things that you can do. You may see some of these action steps as punishments, but instead, please understand that they are natural consequences that you have brought upon yourself. If you play with fire, you will be burned. That is not a punishment; it is a natural consequence of your action.

First, to gain the trust of others you must always tell the truth in every situation, no matter how difficult the truth is to tell. Even a tiny lie, or omitting information, will be evidence that you still cannot be trusted.

Secondly, you must open up your actions to parental scrutiny. Tell your parents every detail about every friend. Invite one of your parents to accompany you to an event with friends. Don’t close the door to your bedroom to keep them out or keep your phone conversations secret. Let your parents see that you have nothing to hide.

Third, keep a pleasant and cooperative attitude even when you don’t like your parents’ decisions. If you can be respectful and understanding of their point of view, they will see it as evidence of maturity. Teenagers who think that they can influence their parents by having a sulky and spiteful attitude are not very mature.

Fourth, do not expect any action step to work quickly. It will take a minimum of three to six months for you to prove that you are trustworthy. That is a long time for a fifteen year old, but it can’t happen any faster, so you might as well accept it.

Lastly, recognize that you have a Heavenly Father who loves you very much. He wants to forgive you for what you have done and help you make better choices from now on. Tell Him your frustrations through prayer, and ask for forgiveness in His Son Jesus’ name. Read the Bible, and let God give you wisdom for your future.

You can get through this difficult period and become a trustworthy person!

We wish you well,