We trust others as we trust ourselves.
One of the greatest gifts we can give to the youngsters in our care is trust. It starts with having a deep trust in oneself, in the deeper parts of oneself. Before you can extend genuine trust to others, especially the children in your care, it’s got to be a living quality in you first, right? So that’s a good thing to reflect on for starters.
Young children, really young children don’t have “trust issues” do they? They are near to the creation cause of a natural and totally inherent deep, deep trust. It seems we are meant to have the feeling that we can trust life, trust ourselves, trust each other. But… so much human experience seems to contradict that, doesn’t it?
So how do we help to engender deep trust in children when the world in which they live bombards them with suspicion, distrust, dishonesty, outright manipulation and deception? We learn self-protection and suspicion and defensive psychologies because of these warps in human behavior…NOT naturally so. It is not a reason to abandon the deep human quality that is our birthright – TRUST.
So how do you help to build trust in children (in spite of all those reasons to the contrary)?
Well, as always, it begins with you, the teacher, the parent, the elder, the mentor, the coach, the fellow human traveler.
Let’s just say you wish to help a child who, for whatever reason, is considered not trustworthy. OK? On top of their unfortunate track record, they have been stigmatized, punished, marginalized, and labeled as a “trouble-maker”. Some of you may recognize this child. Some of us were this child!
Well, in resistance to the reflexive reactions to punish or isolate or bang your head against the wall in frustration, try something different:
Begin, patiently and persistently to build a new record of trust between you and that individual. Extend trust “on loan” so to speak, for the child to build their own savings account of trust with, one “penny” at a time! Extend to them the opportunities to build a tool chest of trustworthiness.
What are some of the tools?
- Keeping your word
- Being prompt
- Following through
- Self Reliance
- Self Correction
- Making Agreements
- Can Do Spirit
Having the profound feeling-knowing that human life is a valuable and meaningful journey within a greater context – even if you spend your whole life finding out what that is! Trust.