Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Teaching Our Children To Trust

Relationships are HARD. Period.
Any kind of relationship in any kind of setting will have it's struggles and it's rough patches. No two people will get along every moment of every day. 

One of the most common reasons for trouble in relationships is a lack of TRUST. This can stem from SO MANY things in our lives but I think the root of the problem often begins with our childhood experiences. 
Trust is cultivated in our homes, with our parents.. even as tiny babies!
You cry and someone picks you up, feeds you, changes your diaper.. and in time, even as a baby, you begin to TRUST that if you cry someone will come and help you. For the most part children trust their parents naturally. As long as they are well taken care of and shown love this begins as a natural instinct for us but sadly as we grow that same trust can easily be broken. In the simplest of ways, the trust which is natural to us at first may become something we cannot easily do. 

Why is that? 

I found this picture on Pinterest with the following caption... 

"My father used to do this with me when I was a baby. People always looked really anxious and asked him what he was doing. He would simply reply, "I'm teaching her to trust me."

I think the message that lies in this simple photo is very valuable... Our children NEED to know that they can trust us. It can stem from something as simple as what is depicted in this photo or from promises made and kept, but one way or another they need to know that they can always count on you. 

It's true that trusting others can sometimes hurt us but the fear of trust causes us to miss out on much more!  I've been around children who aren't at peace on the edge of your lap for fear of falling and sometimes that saddens me. That fear in itself IS NOT wrong... but how much better is it for our children to know that we will hold on tight and not let them get hurt? 

Trust is necessary for obvious reasons, but it children it is even more essential. 
-Trust is why a child know that if they misbehave they will be in trouble.
-Trust is what makes a child feel safe in your arms.
-Trust allows love to grow.
-Trust is what convinces your child you will return when you leave them. 
-Trusting others makes us stronger!

When we make promises that aren't kept (including the promise of negative consequences!) our children learn that they shouldn't trust us. They learn that SOMETIMES what Mommy or Daddy says ISN'T TRUE! I think I speak for everyone when I say that that's not what we want them to learn. I encourage you to be careful of making promises on a whim, of turning back on what you say, of lying to them (or to others around them). Our children come from who we are, they learn from the things they see us do and say. Often children learn more from the things we inadvertently teach them then from the lessons we purposefully bring to them.

Consider the thought.. Can your children truly trust you?
They are loved, well taken care of, nurtured.. and maybe you are a wonderful parent.. but don't miss out on the opportunity to teach your child to TRUST you. The trust that they build up for you will give them the ability to trust others when they need to in the future.

Teach them that you mean what you say. Teach them you can always be trusted. 
Teach them love.
You may also be interested in:

The Space Between The Stickers
Bigger Then You Think
French Braids & Friendship
A Small World After All

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