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    Rebuilding Family Trust

    Rebuilding Family Trust

    Losing trust in your kids is something all parents face, whether they have a 7 year old or a 17 year old. There are countless instances in which parent-child trust can be damaged. Maybe you gave your child money for a school field trip and they spent it on something else? Perhaps they said they were sleeping over at their best friend’s house but instead went to a concert with a different crowd? Both situations imply a breach of trust and can cause hurt, for you and for your guilty child. So how do you take a breach of trust and turn it into a teachable moment?


    A Normal Part of Growing Up

    Though a child’s misdeeds can sometimes make you feel like you failed as a parent, they are actually a completely natural part of growing up. Kids need to test the limits in order to understand them. Your next step should be working with the child to rebuild trust and giving them the tools they need to avoid making the same mistakes.

    Rebuilding Trust

    A good first step is asking your child what they think their punishment should be. Obviously the final say is up to you, but this exercise will get them thinking about the consequences of their actions and just what it means to feel guilty. Show your disappointment, but make sure to set a clear path to redemption. Work on an incremental system by which a kid can gradually earn back your trust. He or she may encounter a similar temptation in the future, and you want to them to make the right choice next time.

    Don’t be Afraid to Seek Outside Help

    What if your child continues to break your trust time and time again by acting out in the same way? An isolated incident is one thing, but a pattern usually means there are other factors at play; a child’s systematic disobeying is rarely as simple as it seems on the surface. In such a case, take the time to do some parental investigating in search of deeper factors that influence your child’s behavior. You may need to consult a school guidance counselor or therapist.

    Try not to take it personally when your child violates your trust. It is part of growing up and more than likely something you did to your own parents! Make the most of these situations by making sure your kids learn from them.




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