“Mom, You Don’t Trust Me!”: 8 Things to Say in Response

Lisa Cherry —  February 15, 2015

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Trust between a parent and child is critical.

Without it the whole relationship is compromised and challenged.

Kids and teens generally want their parents to trust them. They seem to recognize instinctively trust's power to control their lives.

As parents, we want our kids to be promoted into new levels of responsibility and freedom.

But we are very quick to recognize that trust is the only real pathway to freedom.

When our children make errors, trust is injured and consequence result.

Sometimes the level of trust violation is so deep that serious changes must occur.

Kids who are found with drugs, or who sneak out the bedroom window alter their own destinies.

But we as their parents are never to give up on them....even if they have greatly disappointed us by their foolish choices.

Here are 8 possible things to say when trust has been violated:

1. Trust has been injured, but trust can be rebuilt.

2. Trust is injured in an instant, but can be rebuilt over periods of time.

3. Though the trust aspect of our relationship has been damaged by your actions....the love aspect of our relationship is 100% intact and sure.

4. I love you too much to allow you to hurt yourself like that again therefore we will need to make this adjustment in our family policies:_____________

5. When I am convinced of your sincere repentance (not just your sorrow that you got caught), we will begin down the road to restoration.

6. I believe the Lord will restore what has been loss here if we will give Him the opportunity to work in our hearts.

7. In this family, promotion comes when trust is earned. If you want promotion, you must choose the pathway of trustworthy, right choices.

8. I am anticipating you will make some errors along the way to growing up. I am sure we can agree that this was a significant error. But I believe in the man/woman God is calling you to become. I have already seen the potential in you! We will get past this with God's help.

Parents, do not be too quick to restore privileges that have been lost because of trust violations. Give your kids the gift of integrity. They may not thank you on the spot! (In fact, they may wail and cry!)

But later on, they will respect your wise parenting...and maybe even come back to thank you!

Lisa

Image: cranberries “steps” via Flickr Creative Commons
License: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic

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“You Don’t Trust Me”…Responding to Teens on Internet Use