Damaged Trust

Joey and Carla Link

March 20, 2024

To be trustworthy describes something or someone you can believe in, who is completely reliable. When a person consistently demonstrates the following, you can and should trust them.

If you don’t have a trusting relationship with your child, the chances of you having a relationship at all with him/her when they become adults is slim. In the early years your children trust you to feed them, clothe them, protect them and so on, but as they grow your hurtful words or actions can severely damage their trust in you. As they grow, your trust in them can be damaged when they are generally irresponsible and don’t get along with their siblings.  When this happens, you have to teach them the value of trust and work with them to earn it back.

Building a relationship of trust with your children is not a one-time event. It is a life-time process that parents should understand their need to invest in.

So, what can you do to build and keep a trusting relationship with each of your kids? First, let’s look at how you can damage the trust they have in you.  

1.     You aren’t characterized by keeping your promises or your word. If you don’t know whether you can keep a promise you start to make to your child, then don’t promise them you will. If there is a chance you can’t make it to their school music program, then don’t tell them you will be there.

2.     Being there for them when they need you. If you want your kids to tell you what is going on with them, then you need to create times to be with them where you can talk about what’s going on in their lives. I (Joey) used to take our pre-teen son frisbee golfing at the park and we would talk as we played. That’s where I learned what was on his mind and in his heart. Carla took our girls shopping, one at a time and out for an ice cream and the same conversations took place at those times with them. Make the time and create ways to make this happen.

3.     You are characterized by saying hurtful, critical or demeaning words to your kids. Your kids know when they have done something wrong. They need to work it through and get to the point where they are willing to apologize for it, but they don’t need all their faults laid out before them by you. Find ways to encourage them to do the right thing even when you are discouraged by their actions.

There are different ways to break trust in a marriage or other kinds of relationships, but the ones we just mentioned have to do with your relationship with your children/teens.

“Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, 

but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.”

Proverbs 28:26