Keeping a Secret - Ask Noah
NEW YORK (TheStreet) --Q: My son is a well-admired and accomplished senior at his high school. Last weekend he confided in me that his close friend cheated on a final exam in December.
He's obviously protecting his buddy by holding information, which is no doubt making him very uncomfortable. As his father I'm not used to feeling helpless. I'm really happy he told me, but I honestly don't know what to do about it.
A: In choosing to confide in you, your son is risking his reputation. No teenager wants to be known as a snitch! He obviously needed to express his secret to someone he trusts. His choice to confide in you reflects a belief that you'll respect him enough to listen, without taking matters into your own hands.
Start by posing simple questions to him: What does he think should be done? What are his feelings about knowing the rules were broken? How does knowing this information impact how he relates to his friend?Your son strikes me as the kind of kid who'll decide wisely on how he wants to handle the situation. This may take some time, and part of the process is using you as his trusted soundboard. Situations like this will come up time and again in his adult life. This is a rare opportunity for him to practice for the "real world" as a teen, and for you to witness it. Make no mistake, telling you about the circumstance was his first choice in the handling of his dilemma. Your goal in this moment should center on fostering this trusted environment with your son. In the future, as he continues to mature, you'll want to encourage this open-door policy, when moral questions or dilemmas become ever more serious. I'd certainly advise you to thoroughly discuss all of his options in this scenario -- talking to his buddy, telling a teacher or authority figure, asking where he needs your presence. But do not take ownership over his choices or game plan. Respect his faith in you, and he'll continue to seek out your counsel. Please keep sending all questions and comments to ASK NOAH at firstname.lastname@example.org Have a profitable and peaceful week, Noah
This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV