Parenting To Build Trust

So, how do we go about building trust in our children? We typically think of trust as handing out our teenager the car keys and permitting them to drive on their own, or letting our 12 year old stay home alone for the first time. But trust needs to start soon after kids are born.
Babies observe our every move as they learn how to get what they need from us. They know how to make us smile. They know how to make us cry. They may be dependent on us for everything, but they’re a lot more intelligent than we give them credit for. You need to respond to their needs, especially early on so they can feel you and their environment are trustworthy, but it’s also a fantastic time to start teaching your child some important lessons.
Many parents are operating from their own insecurities or doubts: Doesn’t their child need them? And if they don’t, what kind of parents are they? I firmly believe that you want your child to want to be with you, not to need to be with you. This tension first arises with sleep. Your children can and will sleep on their own if you believe they can do it and if you teach them how. Kids learn to self-soothe, when given the opportunity, by sucking their thumbs, using pacifiers, or playing with toys.
As kids grow, they can be given more and more opportunities to build their own trustworthiness. The choices you make with your child will dictate the culture of your family. You always want to ask yourself whether you’re actively building trust in them or whether you’re shutting your child down. For young children, little achievements can build their trust and belief in themselves. They tie their own shoes, and it works! They put on their own clothes, and it works! They walk to school, and that works too! Through these small victories, they can see the tangible results of their efforts.
While you can’t always trust a small child to make intelligent choices, you can guide him or her in considering options and picking the best one. Over time, giving your child options, we work on helping our children make wise decisions over time and we help them build the skills for living a healthy life and take care of themselves.

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