One of the most embarrassing things for a child is to be ‘told off’ in public. You may think pointing your child’s misbehaviour out in front of others is a deterrent of bad behaviour, but over time it can erode the trust your child has in you (not to embarrass him). It’s fine to keep in line with the age old tradition of giving your child a stern look to warn him he is stepping out of line, but avoid shouting out his bad behaviour and saying things like, ‘you naughty boy! Wait and see what happens when we get home! Saying such things, even in front of strangers, can be deeply hurtful to a child; instead, try and keep your cool when your child is behaving badly in public; take him to the side and discretely let him know you want him to behave, and in a simple and clear way, explain why.
He will appreciate this later on and it is likely you will see an improvement in his behaviour because he will understand why you want better from him. He will also trust you not to embarrass him. Abu Hatim Al Basti said “Giving advice is an obligation on everybody, but it should be given in private. Whoever advises his brother in private does him a favour; and whoever advises his brother in public hurts him”. It’s tempting to tell your child that you will be ‘with him in ten minutes’, when in actual fact, you may take longer than this, to tend to his needs. Your toddler or preschooler will believe you when you tell him his immunisation at the doctors surgery ‘won’t hurt’.
If you want to build a trustworthy relationship with your child, be honest in speech and actions. This will set a good example for him to be the same and he will learn that you mean what you say! Sometimes, people avoid sharing things with others because they are scared of the reaction they will get; it’s the same for children with adults. If you get angry with your (ten year plus) child, when he admits he did not pray that day, he may lie to you in the future to keep you happy. Try to listen to your child and do not overreact when he tells you something that displeases you. Do not become angry and furious. :kiss:
Practice what you preach. Easier said than done with kids, right? The biggest problem I have is that my mood shows on my face. So if I am having a bad day and just need some alone time, I cannot fault my child if she feels the same. If she needs some time to herself or is moody, I have to be more understanding. Follow through on threats. We all do this as parents. If you threaten your child that they will not be able to watch tv for a week, if they still disobey, follow through. This honestly works and does build that trust with children, they know your word is as good as gold. Appreciation of honesty.
Appreciation of honesty. Make it known that you are very pleased with them when they tell the truth, even if they were scared to. Don’t necessarily reward them for telling the truth, but highlight the moments when they do. Make sure you bring it up a few times after so they know this makes you happy. Learn to LISTEN. Use eye contact at all times. When they are telling you something, put whatever may distract you away and give them your full, undivided attention. Adults don’t really have the best listening skills when it comes to their children. Like I mentioned earlier, the older they get, the more “annoying” they might be to you.
This is a critical age, if you constantly make them feel like they’re bugging you, trust that they will refrain from talking to you when truly important matters come up. Do not break your promises. Even I struggle with this one since life happens and many times you cannot do what you said you would. Try your best to do it any way. Children need to be able to count on you, to count on your word. Follow through on your promises because once you put doubt in your children, it’s tough to take away. If you absolutely cannot make an event or can’t follow through, tell them in advance and explain why. Chances are it is something they really wanted, so be sincere and gentle in how you let them down, make them feel like you understand the importance of this, which is why you are sorry.
Apologize when you are wrong. This is unheard of to most parents. To this day, I have never heard an apology from my parents, even if it was something small. There was a time last year where I yelled at Amelia because of something I thought she was disobeying me, finding out a little bit later that her grandmother actually “ok’d” it. I felt awful. I did the unthinkable. I got down on both knees to her level and I held her. I told her that I was wrong and that I am so very sorry. Amelia’s eyes widened and she stared at me for a while. She looked at me with the utmost sincerity and said, “Mom, you made a mistake?” I told her it happens. Parents make mistakes too, and that’s why I was very sorry.
I’d be open to learning more ways if anyone out there has some advice. I want anyone who was hurt mentally and physically as a child to get it out of your heads that it was your fault. There are people you can speak with, there’s all sorts of counseling available. To the parents who have these fire-cracker kids, strong-willed and determined personalities don’t guarantee their trust in you. I should know since I’m that example. I am forever learning, but with all the sickness out there, the best thing you can do is to start gaining your child’s trust at a tender, young age. Know that there are all sorts of people around who are good at manipulation, but if the foundation is strong and the relationship is there, your child will find comfort in you and tell you everything.
I've seen a lot of social media posts lately claiming that "kids today don't have any integrity or respect!" I remember how hurtful it felt hearing statements like that said about my own generation when I was younger. Especially when it was obvious that people chose to focus only on the bad, completely dismissing the good. Now, parenting two teenagers of my own who are sometimes insightful and at other times angsty, I completely understand how inciting their behavior is at times. I rely on memories from my own youth (and my own spectrum of good to not-so-good behavior) as a reminder that I can change the pattern of how I choose to view (and then either condemn or encourage) today's youth.
One of the main things according to which children differ from adults - children never close their hearts, they are trustful. So, the problem is noot how to deserve your child's trust (because even if you, for example, adopted a teenager with rather bad character whose love and trust you need o earn, it can be easily done by a little bit loving), but how to keep it, how not to disappoint your child. This is a rather hard task. But hard does not mean impossible. First of all, don't lie to your child. If you are honest with him or her, you will have more chances that your child will be honest with you too with no lies and hiding.
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