How to build trust between parent and child
What does the word “trust” mean to you?
It is kind of a hard question to answer, isn’t it? Have you ever asked your child this question? Trust is the foundation of a good parent-child relationship and you can’t build trust with your child if you don’t agree on what trust means.
Before even diving into the trust-building tips below, talk to your child about trust. The journey to a trusting relationship is a long one, but it will be an impossible one if you and your child have separate goals.
4 tips on building trust between parent and child
Depending on your situation and your nature, some of these tips may be harder than others, but all of them are important.
Keep your promises
If you say you are going to do something, do it. This applies to both good situations and bad. If you say you will go to your child’s soccer game – be there. If you threaten punishment if your child breaks curfew, follow through. Trust is built when your child knows you mean what you say.
Be a role model
Being a parent is like holding a leadership position at work; people follow what you do, not what you say. Build trust with your child by practicing what you preach.
How many times have you heard a teen say, “parents just don’t understand.” Don’t be that parent. Teens do not trust or talk to those parents. The best way to show your child that you understand is by listening. Truly listening, not just waiting for your chance to talk. Check out our blog post on how to be a better listener with your teen.
Show appreciation for honesty
Tell your children you respect honesty and prove it when they are honest. If you tell your teen you want them to call you if they get in an uncomfortable situation (with drugs, alcohol, etc.), don’t lecture or punish them when they call you. Tell them they did the right thing and then talk about strategies for preventing the situation in the future.
As you are implementing the steps above, remember to strive for progress, not perfection; trust builds slowly and can be broken down easily, so you need to be patient and persistent.
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