If Your Children Don’t Trust You Then They Wont Respect You

Trust is one of the pillars of good parenting. This post is slightly different than the other posts on becoming a better parent. In the other posts, I have written about how love and respect are essential to proper parenting. No one will tell you that love and respect are not important. However, if your kids don’t trust you then they wont respect you.

This is not just something we should be concerned about when our kids are older. Trust starts when your kids are just that – kids. Its much easier to be a little misleading or dishonest when our kids are little. However, don’t make it a habit. A little white lie now can quickly grow into a full blown lie without you realizing and before you know it you’ll quickly lose your children’s trust.

An example of ways to damage your trust
The magazine article in Parenting.com on advising ways to take away recalled toys from your toddler by making it disappear in the middle of the night is a perfect example in building mistrust in your relationship with your kids.

“Make the toy “disappear” while your child is sleeping. If he is distressed about losing his favorite object, you may have to tell a white lie and feign ignorance about the toy’s whereabouts.”

Another example, my daughter once cut herself; she refused to wear a bandaid. A guest over at our house suggested to sneak one on her while she was sleeping. After telling this person that I was against that idea, she turned to me and said that sometimes a parent has to do things that a child doesn’t want them to do. I was annoyed because we were talking about a cut that was slightly larger than a paper cut. I was more concerned about affecting the trust with my daughter than giving her a bandaid.

I learned from being a EMT and a First Aid and CPR instructor that you never tell a patient that they will be ok when you know that they wont be. Never lie to a patient. If they learn not to trust you then they will learn not to trust any paramedic or doctor.

This applies to parenting as much as anything else. A parent should never tell their child that “it wont hurt” or “it will be ok” or worse when going to the doctor a parent should never ever tell their child that they are just going for a checkup when they are really going in for a shot.

The absolute worst way of destroying trust with your children is telling them that you will or wont do something knowing perfectly well that you will do the opposite of what you just told them. A perfect example is when a mother tells her son that she wont touch anything in his room while he’s away for the weekend and once he leaves she starts reorganizing his room and throwing away things that she feels is garbage. This may sound extreme but parents do this all the time. They say one thing to their children but do the exact opposite.

Trust begins when your child is old enough to understand. If your child learns that they simply can not trust you then they will almost have no reason to respect you either.

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1 Response

  1. D Smith says:

    I agree 100%. Very insightful. Thanks for posting…this is true and I never looked at it this way before. Thanks again for posting…and leaving it up. 🙂

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