Saturday, November 04, 2006

Trust: The Not-So-Silly Responses

Thank you to everyone who responded to last week's question about trust between parents and children.

Your answers made perfect sense and addressed both sides of the issue: parents' faith in their children, and children's faith in their parents. The consensus seemed to be that when children make poor choices, trust can be regained by (a) the parents providing some guidance to get the ship back on course, and (b) the child demonstrating over a period of time that the lesson has been learned, that the questionable behavior is unlikely to happen again. I liked what Misty had to say on this topic:

"If they stray away from those lessons as anyone does, then gentle reminders to get them back on track are usually all that is needed. I address the behavior or choice without defining the child by them, then my children know that the change needed is obtainable."

A few readers mentioned bad experiences because they felt their parents did not trust them as much as perhaps they should. The parents in the crowd were obviously interested in making sure this did not happen with their own children. Again, Misty offered what seems to be a sound suggestion:

"How we interact with [our children] results in whether or not they can trust our authority, fairness and capability as their parents. We have to parent with respect, to get respect. Same goes with trust. We cannot expect something that we are not willing to give ourselves."

Thanks again everyone!

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