Trust is the bedrock of any relationship, it is the pillar or foundation stone on which we can build
meaningful and healthy relationships. The moment there is a breach of trust in any relationship the
essence of the relationship will be on the rocks. Trust is integral to happy and fulfilling relationships.
In parenting trust is very important, it is so important that you have the trust of your children and they
have your trust for effective parenting. We need to deliberately build a mutually trusting relationship
with our children. Children are naturally trusting because they were born to believe in people and
things, this feeling of trust makes them feel safe physically and emotionally around their parents and
So what is the meaning of trust and how can trust be earned in our families?
According to the Longman Advanced Dictionary, Trust has been defined as the strong belief in the
honesty or goodness of someone or something.
We unconsciously teach our children to mistrust other people when we breach their trust in us by
breaking our promises to them. That is why some children might find it difficult to confide in their
parents and would prefer to confide in their friends and start keeping secrets.
The key factor to building and maintaining trust with your children is by letting your words match your
actions. Like I stated earlier that children are naturally trusting but as they grow older and become more
independent they start to observe that there might be no alignment between some of your words and
some of your actions this begins their mistrust.
It is very important to build and maintain a trusting relationship with your children for the following
1) You will have an open relationship with your child and your child will feel free to discuss
anything with you.
2) You will be able to guide and protect your child appropriately.
3) It will teach your child how to develop a healthy relationship with other people.
4) It will make your child be his/her authentic self without pretense around you or others.
STEPS TO BUILD A TRUSTING RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR CHILDREN.
1) Show your children that you are trustworthy with your actions and words. You are their first role
2) Make truth and honesty a core family value.
3) Do not break your promise to them
4) Listening and understanding what they are saying without being judgmental and avoid
assumptions if you are not sure to ask further questions.
5) Being present and genuinely interested in them. Invest at least 20 minutes daily with each child.
6) Create a safe zone. if they have erred allow them to make amends first before you give the
7) Celebrate them when they have done something right or have improved.
8) Respect them and their decisions (especially teens)
9) Do not betray your child’s confidence if they have confided in you.
10) By being consistent in all these steps.
A breach in trust does not make the child a bad person, talk to your child about your
expectations and be specific. You are your child's first role model, teach them how to behave by
modeling the expected behavior.
Oluwatoyin Ogunkanmi is a Psychologist and Family Life Practitioner. She is the founder of
Parenting support system Ltd, an organization whose goal is to make your parenting journey
peaceful and stress-free by providing you with relevant information and tools.
You can follow her on Instagram @oluwatoyinogunkanmi or visit her website
www.oluwatoyinogunkanmi.com for more information.