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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Parenting Tips: Teaching Trust

Trust is so hard to teach.  It is so easily broken and so hard to regain.  Trust is the best example I know for teaching the difference between natural consequences and logical ones.  Natural consequences are what happen regardless, logical consequences are consequences that someone imposed deliberately [and hopefully connected in a logical way to the offense]. Regarless of the punishment a parent imposes for a child breaking trust the natural consequence that happens is that feeling inside the parent who no longer quite trusts as implicitly.

Here is my favorite way to teach kids about trust: 

Show a plain piece of paper all smooth and clean. This is how trust is when it has never been broken.  Bend it a bit then smooth it.  It is almost as smooth, but not quite. This is trust that has been pushed and tested a bit.  After a bit it will seem smooth, and if put under a weight [of more success] it will smooth even further.  But each time it is twisted or crumpled it becomes a bit more worn and takes a lot more work to smooth.  

Important note:
I DO  teach children that  unlike paper, children can be forgiven, children can experience grace. I think it is vitally important that children not feel that there is no returning from broken trust. That is my only quibble/warning with the quote and illustration.

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