How To Raise Kids to Become Secure Trustworthy Adults

If kids don’t feel trusted – or if there isn’t someone close to them whom they can rely on – they can really suffer. Esther Wojcicki, an educator and mother of three superstar daughters, explains why trust is essential and how to build it in the young people in our lives.
All you need is one person, just one person who trusts and believes in you, and then you feel you can do anything. Unfortunately, a lot of children don’t have even one person.
There are some children whose parents put a great deal of pressure on them. They threaten them that they will become homeless if they don’t do well at school. And, there are many teachers who are not supportive either. These children suffer not only in anxiety and low self-esteem but also struggle to have solid friendships or even doing well in school. Many of these students get admonished by peers and educators who keep being trodden on, feeling like they are constantly failing.
So many of these students are afraid and also rebellious. They’re not cooperative, they’re difficult and even at times aggressive because each one of them feels bad about themselves. They’re constantly trying to prove that they’re better than everyone thinks of them.
I remember saying to these students that they are truly smart and very capable. You would have thought I gave them a million dollars! One student told me he had never heard anyone call him smart. When he heard me tell him he was smart, his eyes lit up like he had been given a new image of himself. He said, “To hear outside confirmation that someone believed in me, even in the presence of other students who didn’t – was awesome. It helped me not to crumble.”
Parents and teachers can sometimes forget how important we are in the lives of our children. We have so much control in shaping their confidence and self-image. And it all starts with trust, with believing a child is capable, even through setbacks, surprises and all the complications that come with growing up.
Trust empowers kids, whether it’s in the classroom or in the world at large, and the process of developing trust starts earlier than you think. Infants who are securely attached to their parents – who feel they can trust and depend on them – avoid many behavioural, social, and psychological problems that can arise later. A child’s fundamental sense of security in the world is based on their caregiver being someone they can rely upon.

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