It is important to build a trusting relationship with your children as it will affect the impact you can have on them. That’s why gaining their trust, or regaining their trust if you’ve lost it, is an essential step in helping them.
The first difficulty in gaining your children’s trust is related to its definition. It’s not about them telling you everything or being friends. Instead, it’s about them seeing that you’re someone they can count on and sharing what they need to share when needed.
Trust is about making agreements with each other and knowing that everyone will keep them. It’s about revealing sensitive information and knowing it doesn’t go beyond the boundaries of the relationship.
So you have to start by being respectful in order to gain the trust of your children. Remember that they are individuals with their own opinion. You should also allow them to feel vulnerable and understand any problems they may have.
Respect is essential for a trusting relationship with your children
Parents and children have asymmetrical relationships. The former make the rules, guidelines and final decisions. These should express themselves and have the right to express their objections and different points of view. However, they must obey their parents.
As you can imagine, it is important for children to have a consistent authority figure. They don’t need a friend who puts themselves on their level, but rather a role model and guide. As you can see, it is not good to treat them as equals. You have to teach them this at a young age because it will be difficult to do this later on.
How does this help you gain your child’s trust? Well, a child expects their parents to keep things going and to trust what they are doing, even if they make mistakes. It makes them feel safe and creates the foundation for them to rely on themselves as well.
Time, attention and reinforcement
A parent is only a guide, not a judge. Children value their acceptance and recognize their commitment and abilities. In fact, one of their biggest motivations is to earn this recognition. They should correct them lovingly and with a healthy intention to help improve them. Chances are, your kids will respond positively if you do.
It is also important to spend quality time with them and promote fun activities that can teach them something. Dialogue together does not have to be paramount in this time.
In fact, the best way to get to know your child is to watch how they act, the decisions they make, and even some of the things they express. You don’t want to be like those parents who think the time they spend with their kids is a perfect time to question them.
Respecting their privacy is a must for a relationship of trust
Being honest about your feelings is a good way to build a trusting relationship with your child. Of course, this isn’t about sharing your most intimate details like you would with someone your age. However, you can tell them how you feel, what you like, what you want, and what interests you.
It is important to have open communication with your child. Your kids will definitely want to keep some things to themselves, and that’s okay. They need to know that you are willing to listen when they want to talk and that they can count on you when they need you.
Manage difficult moments wisely
Crises are great opportunities to build trusting relationships with your children. But remember that your children can only trust someone who will fulfill their obligations and keep certain intimate things to themselves.
A parent who panics when faced with problems or questions his or her children can lose trust much faster than it was built.
Children need to feel that they can count on their parents in difficult times. This will make it easier for them to trust their parents and look up to them for answers to their doubts or concerns. Moreover, they will consider them their role model.
In short, if you follow this path during childhood, they are likely not going to distance themselves from you and go off the rails in their quest for autonomy during their teens. As you can see, the foundation for a healthy parent-child relationship and adolescence is laid early on.