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  • Writer's pictureKyveli Papaioannou

"Mom, do you trust me?" Nurturing trust within the parent-child relationship

Updated: Jun 25, 2023

A mother helps her child with the writing
parent-child relationship

Perhaps the most invaluable aspect of the parent-child relationship is trust. But how does a child perceive and understand trust? What does it mean to them, and what do they expect from their parents?

For a child, it is essential to feel that they can always rely on their parents. They long to share their challenges and express themselves freely, without the fear of being judged or criticized. They yearn for the assurance that their parents' words are reliable and represent unwavering commitments. The child needs to know that promises made to them are not taken lightly but are honored, instilling a sense of security and trust.

At the same time, the child themselves desires to be seen as trustworthy. When they receive support and encouragement for their decisions, they learn responsibility and develop a strong sense of self-esteem. This self-esteem becomes the bedrock upon which they can confidently navigate life's choices and challenges.

Unfortunately, as parents, we sometimes equate trust with success. We mistakenly withdraw our trust and become overly critical when our child makes a mistake. We may feel compelled to intervene or doubt their abilities, unintentionally conveying the message, "You are incapable, and I need to be constantly involved to ensure your success." However, it is precisely in these moments that trust becomes even more vital.

Instead, we can foster trust by embracing a different approach. We can communicate to our children that mistakes are a natural part of growth and learning. We can express our belief in their ability to persevere, armed with the wisdom gained from their missteps, and ultimately succeed. By consistently reinforcing this message, we empower our children to cultivate their self-esteem and resilience, enabling them to face life's challenges with confidence and make informed decisions.

By nurturing trust within the parent-child relationship, we provide our children with the foundation they need to develop a strong sense of self and navigate life's journey with courage and authenticity.


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