Trusting our children is a tricky thing. We spend so long protecting and nurturing them that loosening the reigns for them to explore is quite a daunting experience as a parent.
We all remember the initial panic when we hear the scraping of a chair on the kitchen tiles as our little one dragged a chair over to the counter to reach the cookies: "But what if they fall or break something?" This is where it begins. Even at a young age, they are honing their skills, discovering, and improving on their abilities. And as intrepid explorers, they unconsciously take risks.
Taking these risks is exactly how they will learn though, and it’s up to us to widen the boundaries for them to learn. There comes a time when we need to look at not only our children but at ourselves, and realise that trust goes a long way as they grow, become resilient, and independent.
Why Is Trust Important?
When we trust our children, we show them that we believe in them. By reigning in our own fears, worries, and uncertainties, we help grow their confidence. It’s important for them to step outside the box and practice their skills. Allow them to learn what they can achieve, understand their aspirations, develop, and grow. With us acting as their cheerleader, they will flourish.
Trusting Your Child
One of our jobs as a parent is to protect our children. Another job is to foster their independence. It may go against everything we know as we parented babies and toddlers who needed us for everything. As our kids get older they need to learn about the world, their abilities, and their bodies for themselves. Only they will know their limitations. Trusting your child is not instinctual, but it's important for their growth that we show them that we trust them to know their own boundaries.
At the same time, as parents, we need to trust our gut and instincts in knowing the capabilities of our children and whether the situation is safe. We can easily assess a scenario and if we are tuned in to our children, we can figure out how skilled or capable they are at taking an unknown risk. We can lead them with our guidance and experience so that they can master their own lives.
We can practice trusting our children by truly listening to them and understanding who they are and what they can do. Listen to what they are saying, even if it's not something you want to hear, but especially if it is something they are passionate about.
One of the great bonuses of trust is that it encourages a deep connection with our children.