RDS 190712 Parenting children-1563377386356
A mother scolds her angry son. Image Credit: Getty Images

  • Children learn to trust and distrust very easily.
  • Proper parenting is needed to ensure children are growing up the right way. 

Children are not ingenious as adults. They acquire knowledge and understanding through their mind, body and surroundings, and develop feelings of trust and distrust based on situations and behaviours. And, this process enables children to develop essential skills. It helps them gather information, and apply it to life.

However, children lack the ability to decide who and what is reliable. Since the child is born, he or she gets attached to their caregiver. Naturally, if children’s needs are met consistently, it develops a sense of trust towards their caregiver. Whereas, if these needs are not met, it leads to distrust.

Trust or distrust cannot be developed overnight. They are not created by a single incident, but are derived from several instances over a period of time.

When we talk about distrust in children, we should understand that children distrust people and situations for a reason.

We need to understand this and not reprimand children for no reason. Scolding your children even though they realised their mistake, or making them feel embarrassed in front of their friends and others, not trusting them, constantly comparing and criticising their behavior towards their peers, becomes a routine, and this will lead to them not trusting you. They will start blaming themselves and will feel isolated.

Being a parent, we always have a chance of handling the situation before distrust takes root. We should progressively work towards smart trusting strategies and on behaviours that build trustworthy relationships between parents and their children.

Children’s trust is built when they feel accepted and cared for and when their parents are able to demonstrate that they are willing to understand their needs and their problems, without immediately criticising them. Parents must give their children freedom to say out what they think and what they want to do, without imposing any judgments.

In a nutshell, it is easy to create distrust among children whereas it is very difficult to create and rehabilitate the loss of trust. As trust begets trust, distrust begets distrust. Therefore, parents need to be very careful while handling their kids as each correct and incorrect act leaves an impression in their young children’s fresh minds. So, what all they have seen, and experience will lead to their understanding of the world and the people around them.

- The reader is an Abu Dhabi-based insurance professional.