08 June 2013

Trust

I attempted to walk in to my eldest's bedroom the other day but stopped as I decided it would be too uncomfortable for my feet.  The carpet had morphed from a lovely wool one to one of Lego, it was completely covered.  I walked away more than slightly baffled as we had been away for almost a week then I remembered for two of the days just before going away we had the same two children over to play.  Two children who never fail to make my house look like a whirlwind has been through,  almost every toy my youngest owns, which is not a huge amount were out on her floor at one point whilst they were here.  Whilst my children do scatter items all over the house it is never a huge volume, they play for hours, sometimes days with the same few toys these same two children flit from one thing to another not really settling and well, making a huge mess.  We have recently spent a few days away with this same family and I have now come to realise why these children play as they do.

As parents we are raising the next generation giving them the skills to go out into the world and stand on their own two feet.  As humans we have one of the longest periods of development to this stage in the animal kingdom so we have plenty of time to get it wrong right, if we know what is right that is, there are no opportunities to turn back the clock and do things over again.  But that does not mean that we should give up hope that we can ever do a good enough job provided we do learn from our own mistakes and not end up sounding like a stuck record which is what I listened to for so much of my time away.

To trust your child is, in my opinion, one of the hardest aspects of parenting and one that can only come from trusting yourself.  If you yourself were not trusted as a child then it makes trusting others very difficult.  If I had a pound for every time I have heard it said of a child, but I can't trust them I would be a rich lady now.  Hearing these words always makes me sad, sad for the adult speaking them and for the child they are speaking of.  Trust is not something you can teach children, they have to learn, they have to be given the space to get on with their life but within the safety net of you as a parent.  If you keep the net too tight, too restricting then the child will most likely react.  How they react will differ from child to child, they may be aggressive physically or verbally, run away from you constantly, feel like they never listen, be destructive, either way their behaviour is likely to challenge you, probably to tighten the net further still.  So a tight net is one, for me, that makes for difficult listening, of frustrated children who are unsettled and maybe destructive and how these two children behave most of the time.  They are not trusted and that makes me sad.

2 comments:

  1. We have an example of this in our own family. One mom who rations 'treats' with such intensity that they have become the stuff of lore for her children. Our children have access to treats a lot of the time but no one ever seems to want them. The grass is always greener as they say...

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  2. I think that parenting is such a hard *thing*. It seems like there are so many different ways to go about it, and I definitely feel like I am almost always doing something wrong :-) I like that you said trust. That isn't something that I think about a lot with my kids, but thinking back, I do allow them a lot of freedom and I hope that through my actions and behaviors they learn the right way to deal with life. Granted, my kids are 2.5 and 5...so while I trust that they are going to not throw their toys out the windows, I'm not sure I trust that they themselves aren't going to try and jump out :-)

    I definitely think allowing them the opportunity to explore, get messy, learn consequences, that is all very important in the development of our little people. It is quite the journey! And I understand the crying out from children. There are a couple of examples of children I know that are just crying out for help, but don't know how to ask for it properly, which ends up going horribly wrong a lot of the time. Great post!

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