Building Trusting Relationships with Your Kids

Joey and Carla Link

May 17, 2023

In a recent Parenting Made Practical podcast titled “Help Your Kids Become Confident” (#61), we talked about building blocks you put in their hearts on the platforms of unconditional love and trust. In it we defined “trust” as the “firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something

You are putting into your kids the belief that they can depend on you and that when they don’t understand something for themselves, you will tell them what is truth, what to believe in and how to live. As they grow and mature, they will learn they can trust in what they know and in what they believe to be truth for themselves.

In this blog we want to talk about ways you can help your kids build their trust in you. 

1.     Respect Their Thoughts and OpinionsWe expect our kids to respect us. Do you realize respect has to be earned? Your kids may respect the fact you are their parents, but that doesn’t mean they respect you. Respect is a 2-way street.

When you respect someone, you accept them for who they are, even when they’re different from you or you don’t agree with them. Respect in your relationships builds feelings of trust, safety, and wellbeing. When we think of those who are different than we are, we think in terms of race, culture, different religion and so forth. 

When it comes to your kids, they are often different from you in their God-given temperament. You may be quiet and introverted while your daughter is a joyful, people-loving free spirit! You should, and can appreciate the strengths of each without trying to change each other.

Your 3 year-old doesn’t want to pick up his toys. You don’t want to pick up the house either, so you can respect that. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t get out of picking up his toys nor does it mean you get out of cleaning the house. You both get to do your tasks, with the encouragement of finding your happy attitudes in the process.

So how can you show your kids/teens you respect them?

·       Be kind to them, in your tone when you speak too.

·       Be polite to them; say “please” when you want something and “thank you” when you get it.

·       Listen to them and don’t argue with them when they have a difference of opinion. Say, “I’m sorry you don’t want to pick up your toys but you still have to get that done. It’s time you get started.”  By saying you are sorry your child doesn’t want to pick his toys up, you are acknowledging his/her feelings and that is often enough to get them moving in the right direction.

·       Be willing to admit when you make a mistake and ask for their forgiveness.

So much of our parenting is working on training our kids in the character of God. Our kids have a way of showing us they don’t want to do the task you have just given them. We can’t encourage you enough to work on building up their character and the trusting relationship you have with each of your kids as part of your training process.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

Proverbs 3:5-6