How to trust your child

Upon birth, a child loves and trusts his parents implicitly. As the child grows, however, things can change because of certain circumstances. It’s not enough that you love your child; your child must also be able to trust you. As a child grows older, they notice things like whether or not their parent lied to them or whether their parent broke a promise. Even if the child doesn’t mention it, they still file these facts away, and for some, the relationship changes.

It only takes one lie, for some kids, and the child is never trusting again. No parent wants to lose a child’s trust, but we’re all human and we all have had unexpected things to arise, preventing us from keeping our word. There is nothing you can do to prevent the unexpected, but all in all, keep your word to your child, no matter what.

Lying is the number one reason that kids don’t trust their parents. The lies don’t have to be told to the child, either. The child can overhear you lying to a neighbor or friend, and the impact could be the same. Breaking a promise, the same as lying, is another reason children don’t trust. A promise is usually made to someone when something is very important.

The breaking of that promise causes the child to feel as though the subject wasn’t important to the parent. Keep your word to your child at all costs, but when something unexpected prevents you from keeping a promise, sit down and explain the circumstances to the child. Explain how you couldn’t be in two places at once, and so on. Never just announce to the child that you couldn’t make it, and that’s the end of the subject. Give them an explanation, just as you would expect if someone you love lied to you.

Being a hypocrite is another reason a child will lose trust in you. Pretending to be someone’s friend, then talking about the person behind his back, embarrassing the child in front of people, or laughing at the child’s ideas are other ways to kill their trust.

When a child has made a mistake, but comes to you and tells the truth, make sure he knows how much you appreciate this, and be sure the punishment is much lighter than if he had lied or tried to cover up what he did. Once a child sees that he can come to you with problems, he will be more likely to trust you with his troubles in the future.

As children grow into teens, many parents have a habit of looking through their belongings and their room. This is a definite way to get your child not to trust you.

The child expects you to trust him or her and when you search through personal belongings, you’re telling the child that you don’t trust him. If you don’t trust them, why should they trust you? Trust is usually a mutual thing, and when one doesn’t trust, often, the other won’t either.

Basically, if you want to trust your child, and have him trust you, treat him with respect, keep your word, let him know how much you love him, don’t break your promises, don’t be a hypocrite and take the time to explain to the child if something prohibits you from doing what you promised. It’s important to keep the trust of your child for a future relationship with him that is loving and trusting.

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